The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
A decision to eliminate some bus routes because of a shortage of drivers may have some students in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System scrambling to find an alternate means of getting to school.
CMCSS has announced that some bus routes will be removed in the updated transportation plan for the 2022-2023 school year, leaving some current bus riders without that option.
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The updated plan will increase the parent responsibility zone. Parents will now be required to provide transportation for elementary students who reside less than mile away from their zoned schools and middle and high school students who live less than a mile and a half away.
According to CMCSS, the state law does not require school systems to provide any bussing for any students who live within a mile and a half of their zoned schools. The new changes still have the system exceeding those state requirements for many students.
Some students will be an exception to the new rule, though. Students who live in areas with four or more lanes of traffic and no crossing guard service, on roads with insufficient road width (less than 24 feet) and a speed of more than 35 miles per hour, or on roads with no sidewalks and a speed greater than 35 miles per hour.
The new policy will also not affect any students who are provided with special transportation due to Individualized Education Programs. CMCSS is currently offering several incentives in an attempt to lessen the impact of the driver shortage. New hires will receive a $1,000 sign-on bonus, a $10 stipend for each additional route, and a $600 end of the year bonus after 18 months of employment. The CMCSS website shows a current start rate of $16.27 per hour. Current drivers can also receive a bonus of $1000 if they refer a new hire.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com