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DeWine Reaching Out To National Guard To Possibly Help With School Bus Driver Shortage


Ohio's governor is reaching out to the National Guard to see if they can help with a school bus driver shortage.

Gov. Mike DeWine said school districts have asked for help because COVID has taken a toll on the already short supply of bus drivers. The governor has reached out to Ohio National Guard Adjutant General John Harris Jr.

“I’ve asked General Harris and other senior members of my team to take a look at this to see what might be done. General Harris is in the process of putting an option together,” DeWine said.

Doug Palmer, a transportation expert for the Ohio School Boards Association, estimates Ohio’s more than 600 school districts are between 5% and 12% short the drivers they need, because of retirements, illness and other absences. On a given day, that could be nearly 1,900 drivers.

COVID is causing key shortages of employees in health care and school bus drivers while at the same time, younger and otherwise healthy Ohioans are flooding hospitals with the virus.

Throughout the pandemic, the national guard has been deployed to administer coronavirus tests and vaccine shots as well as distribute food at food banks.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.