Philadelphia school district in need of dozens of bus drivers days before students return

"If you're up for the task, this is the job for you."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia school district officials are scrambling to get the word out about dozens of bus driver positions that need to be filled as all students return to the classroom in a couple of weeks.

Action News rode along with school bus driver trainee Antonio Wynn who was working to learn new skills before it's time for the real thing.

"It's good. Learning a lot," Wynn said.

There are about 80 part-time bus driver positions that are open, according to district officials.

Each driver is guaranteed four hours a day with opportunities to pick up more time at a pay rate of $19.49/hr., officials said.

"I get to work less hours and still have similar benefits," Wynn said.

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The medical benefits are a big selling point, because that doesn't always come with a part-time job.

The position also includes a pension and retirement.

"I stayed around 23 years for the benefits. I'm a HVAC technician, but I will not give this job up. I work at night to maintain this job because of the benefits and my family," said bus driver trainer John Bynum.

Bynum said the pandemic has left the school district with dozens of openings.

"This is the worst that it's ever been for us," Bynum said.

What's different this school year is that all students will be back in the classroom five days a week instead of a hybrid model that was eventually implemented last school year due to the pandemic.

The transportation department will also have to figure out how to handle the influx of high school students returning since most of them were required to remain virtual last school year.

Any potential bus driver candidates should contact the district about the process of gaining CDL certification before applying.

"If you're up for the task, this is the job for you," Bynum said.

Candidates must also pass a background check and undergo random drug tests.
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