NEW CASTLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Students in Henry County are often getting to school and home later than normal because of a shortage of bus drivers.

The school district, which has more than 2,000 students, has been trying to fill holes in its bus driver schedules for several weeks.

“We've looked at and researched our pay scale, and we're not at the top, but we're not at the bottom," Superintendent Terry Price said.

Price said it's not an issue of pay. It’s an issue of finding people who want the job.

"We've also noticed that we have people come in and want to get trained at our cost," Price said. "Then once they get their CDL (commercial driver's license) and things like that, we can't really hold them to the district."

The district has sent notices home the past few week alerting parents of “double routes,” when drivers have to drive two bus routes.

"Double routes are absolutely horrible, but it’s gotten to the point that we don't have a choice," Price said.

Some students have been late getting to and from school by as much as an hour-and-a-half. But Henry County is not alone. A number of other districts across the commonwealth are facing similar issues.

"Because of the limited hours that can be offered, (bus driving) doesn't seem to be something that a lot of people are flocking toward for the job," said Kevin Whitt, president of the Student Transportation Association of Kentucky.

Currently, Henry County employs 20 drivers with five substitutes. With 28 routes, it’s left a hole.

“Would a specific amount of money for a sign on bonus for the commitment, would that do anything? So we're just kind of perplexed with the issue and trying to solve it,” Price said.

The district is currently accepting applications for bus drivers. Click here to apply

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