HOUSTON — HISD has thousands of yellow school busses.
But the school district is spending millions of your tax dollars on charters to take many students to and from school.
“We definitely need to make sure our kids are getting to school and they’re getting to school in a safe manner,” said HISD Board Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca.
But Flynn Vilaseca believes the expensive fix for the district’s bus driver shortage should have been more temporary.
“And it’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to fill the spots so we could use our own bus fleet that we have,” said Flynn Vilaseca.
KHOU 11 Investigates found the average cost of a charter bus is nearly five times more than a district bus at up to $1100 round trip.
And that HISD is on track to spend about $8 million this year on charter busses.
“We’re going to be hosting about four job fairs in the coming months,” said Timothy Brown, HISD GM of Transportation.
Brown, who joined the district in this role nine months ago, said recruitment and retention remain crucial concerns.
The goal is to get nearly 300 new drivers behind the wheel.
“And we pulled a team together to look at how we’re currently doing business and how we look to do things in the future,” said Brown.
According to HISD, it rolled into the school year 50 bus drivers short.
Another 100 never returned after Hurricane Harvey.
But the biggest hit came when talks of massive budget cuts drove away another 130.
“We want to get it rectified as soon as possible,” said Flynn Vilaseca.
That means the district may be picking up bus drivers while employees in other areas continue to get pink slips.
Job fairs will be held at the following locations:
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 12 at Scarborough High School, 4141 Costa Rica
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 19 at HISD Nutrition Services, 6801 Bennington
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 2 at Westbury High School, 11911 Chimney Rock
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 9 at Gregg Elementary School, 6701 Roxbury
If you are interested in being a school bus driver for HISD, check out their employment page.