Yonkers Public Schools suffers shortage of bus drivers
An issue that's hit school districts across the Hudson Valley and the country is now affecting Yonkers - a shortage of school bus drivers.
Bus troubles can be confusing and stressful for any child, but for a child with disabilities, it is especially problematic if they're nonverbal or struggle with communication. It can turn the situation from annoying to potentially dangerous.
Nearly all seven bus companies that work with Yonkers Public Schools don't have enough bus drivers.
Some parents tell say their kids have waited up to two hours for pickup.
Some kids simply missed days of school when there wasn't a bus to give them a ride.
And not every parent has access to a car or time off from work to drive their kids to school.
Nnenna Akoma-Ononaji has been advocating for parents of kids with disabilities in these positions.
"Already the pandemic took away a significant percentage of their progress that was made. Now with the shortage of busing, they're losing out on their services," says Akoma-Ononaji.
Yonkers Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada did not make himself available for an interview Wednesday, but said Tuesday in a board meeting that he's met with all seven bus companies to try to come up with a solution.
"The bus driver shortage has created significant issues, but rest assured parents, we are working very, very hard on resolving those issues," he says.
The Yonkers School District says it's on the bus companies to recruit more drivers, but it's unclear how long that will take.