School Busing | Nashville Public Radio

School Busing

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Worries about the safety of children as they travel to and from school has led to two new laws that go into effect Jan. 1 in Tennessee.

But state leaders also fear college students have been overly protected, a situation they've also decided to address with a new law.

They're among the measures that take effect as the calendar turns the page to 2018. Jan. 1 is one of the two dates Tennessee lawmakers typically choose for legislation to take effect.

courtesy NTSB

In a YouTube video posted Wednesday afternoon from Chattanooga, the head of the company that employed the driver of Monday’s fatal school bus crash said he was “deeply sorry.” Five students died in the crash. Six children are still in the intensive care unit at Erlanger hospital.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Every bus route in the Metro School district will have a driver on the first day of school. This is a major improvement from last year, when Metro’s transportation system was one of the nation’s most understaffed. 

Couresty of Stephen Yeargin / Flickr

Nashville Metro Schools is offering a bonus to keep more bus drivers from leaving to stop what the district calls “unusually high attrition.”

Drivers have been lured away by higher hourly pay and signing bonuses in the thousands of dollars at trucking companies and private bus lines. District officials acknowledge they have not remained competitive with private companies. Officials say that is their “misstep” — one they intend to correct, though not necessarily with a straight raise in hourly pay, which currently ranges from $13/hr to nearly $20/hr.