Wake County Schools

Wake schools hope driver incentives help avoid busing delays

Posted August 6, 2013

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— The Wake County Board of Education is expected on Tuesday to decide how to pay for an incentive-based program aimed at helping the school system avoid major busing issues for the second year in a row.

In 2012, budget cuts created headaches for dozens of Wake County parents during the first few weeks of school. New bus routes and fewer buses on the roads kept some children from getting to school or home on time for several days.

The new incentive program, which could cost as much as $1 million, is something school system leaders hope can help recruit and retain drivers. Currently, the Board of Education is planning to pay for the program using money from its reserve fund.

Current Department of Transportation employees will be able to earn an extra $1,000 for keeping their absences low, and they can also get $100 for referring someone who becomes a new driver.

Watch Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting live on WRAL.com beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Wake schools told WRAL that they have enough drivers to cover all bus routes on the first day of the school year for traditional-calendar students, but officials said the county still needs about 50 backup or substitute drivers.

School leaders on Tuesday are also expected to vote on the names of two high schools that will be built in Cary and Garner.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, new Superintendent Jim Merrill will be sworn in. Hired in June, Merrill began his tenure as the leader of the Wake County Public School System a week ago.

24 Comments

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  • Poupmouse Aug 7, 2013

    $1000 for not calling out too much? They work like 2- 3 hours a day! While they're at it they need to make those big, bulbous yellow buses a little snappier! Something with stripes, something more subdued- like a giant couch full of children. Buses are our future, they need fresh oil and our love.

  • goldenosprey Aug 6, 2013

    "they obviously don't need a school bond. I'll be voting no." timeless Stu

    Is that the one thing that tipped the balance for you?

  • Krimson Aug 6, 2013

    NTFS: "I'll be voting no."

    You don't disappoint...

  • WralCensorsAreBias Aug 6, 2013

    I think it is beyond absurd that this school system is allowed to carry on as it does. Now they have to BRIBE their drivers to stay on? How does that make mommy and daddy feel about dumping Jr. at the curb every day? The drivers don't care about your kids, at least not the ones they have to bribe to work.

    If they can find money for this then they obviously don't need a school bond. I'll be voting no.

  • cgaddy2 Aug 6, 2013

    Just hire more drivers. I agree u should not pay someone extra for doing the job theynr already getting paid.

  • goldenosprey Aug 6, 2013

    You mean there is a point where if you pay people poorly enough you'll actually get sub-par performance?? My stars. That never occurred to me! I must be a supply-sider.

  • Krimson Aug 6, 2013

    MustHaveCoffee: "People should not be rewarded for doing their job."

    Go tell your boss that. He'll be happy to NOT give you a raise this year...

  • musthavecoffee Aug 6, 2013

    People should not be rewarded for doing their job. What other job gives you a bonus for showing up and doing what you are supposed to do?

  • me2you Aug 6, 2013

    The WCPSS Transportation Dept. has added about 20 new positions that suppose to fix this mess. And now another $1m? If tax cuts and less school buses were the problem, why do you need incentives for drivers?

  • Eaglekeeper Aug 6, 2013

    They do pre run the routes before school starts back up.

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