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Columbus City Schools’ Buses To Be Late On First Day Because Of Driver Licensing Issues


UPDATED: Wednesday August 21, 2013 6:52 AM

Columbus City Schools officials say many buses will be late on the first day of school because of an issue with bus drivers' licenses.

According to district spokesman Jeff Warner, the district's busing contractor notified the district Tuesday there was a shortage of licensed school bus drivers for the first day of school on Wednesday.

The district was trying to contract for temporary bus drivers to cover district bus routes while permanent drivers completed their training to earn their commercial drivers' licenses.

But Monday night, district officials told 10TV they only had *verbal* agreements with other companies to provide temporary drivers.  Last night, one of those companies took its drivers to another district.

Interim Superintendent Dan Good said it's not the way anyone wanted to start the school year.

"It made me sick. it made me sick. I ache for the families," said Good.

The issue likely will persist for the first few weeks of the school year.

At a school board meeting Monday night, board member Gary Baker called the problem "unacceptable."

"It's incredibly frustrating," said Baker.  "I know our families are going to be impacted."

Because of the issue, Warner said bus drivers on the clock on Wednesday will have to circle back to cover all the stops.

All students riding buses will be picked up, but many of the buses will be late.

In the morning, high school and middle school bus routes are expected to run on time. Some elementary morning routes may run late, possibly up to a half hour.

In the evenings, schools will dismiss at their regular times. Elementary and middle school routes are expected to run on time. Buses will not be available to pick up all high school students until dropping off elementary and middle school students.

Buses are expected back to the high schools between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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