Schools across North Carolina are struggling with a bus driver shortage.  The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School district says it's down to between 35 to 40 drivers.

Local officials say part of the reason is an increase in demand within the trucking industry, which is depleting the pool of candidates.

“Oftentimes people can make more money in the trucking industry with a CDL license and a bus driver is required to have increased credentials when they drive students,” says Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Angela Hairston. “This is a nationwide issue.”

Hairston says she's working on a plan to recruit and retain these vital staff members. That would include moving part-time bus drivers to full-time.

“A large part of our challenge is, of course, trying to get children to different school choice options, which we value,” says Hairston. “ So considering all of that, my plan is to take to the board and the commissioners some increases in compensation, but also things like paying their licensure fees.”

Hairston says money alone won't fix the problem.  The school system is joining with other districts across the state to discuss solutions.

She also plans to ask local lawmakers for help during a legislative breakfast the school system will host on December 13.

*Follow WFDD on Twitter @kerib_news

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