ROCKFORD (WREX)—Some RPS 205 parents say they are not happy after the district announced changes to its school bus routes this school year.
"Honestly I was in shock because the message was delivered to us three days prior to the first day of school," said parent Mindy Fuller. "It's going to leave a lot of parents scrambling for alternatives or they just may not have alternatives because of social or economic barriers that are present for them."
The district says it's been working on the school bus driver shortage since the end of the last school year and is still trying to fill the gap.
"We are actively hiring, we have a lot of drivers in training, we have a $3000 sign-on bonus for those who do not have a license, we train here," said Executive Director of Transportation Michael Slife.
But because of the situation, only 148 routes will run this first part of the year instead of the normal 160. This means kids will have to find a ride two or three times this school year.
"We are really hoping that community members, neighbors, and parents if their students don't have a bus that day, are helping each other, carpooling," said Chief Operations Officer Michael Phillips.
The district says it will notify families and teachers days before a student might need a ride so that if a student can't get a ride their teacher can provide them some work at home.