Some Hillsborough county parents are not too happy with how late their children are getting to school.
“Last week my son called me from the bus and said the bus driver was lost and needed directions home,” Lisa Minichilli told News Channel 8.
She said the bus taking her 7th grader to Coleman Middle School has been late picking him up several times since school started Aug. 10.
“My expectation was maybe a half an hour late. My expectation was maybe getting home a little late in the afternoon. But at this point an hour and 15 minutes? These kids are getting to school late to begin with. That’s just not acceptable.”
District officials tell us they warned parents this could happen.
“The first two weeks of school, we typically have late buses and we let parents know that prior to the start of school, to be aware that the buses are expected to be late,” said Tanya Arja, spokeswoman with Hillsborough County Schools.
But what about the district’s persistent bus driver shortage problem?
They are constantly recruiting like they did Thursday at a job fair in Riverview.
Officials said this year, they started off great with 844 drivers for their 837 routes.
“When we started the school year, we had more driver’s than we had routes. We started with more drivers, so that was a great thing,” Arja said.
Although they lost about 16 drivers in the first week of school, they do have 14 people in training class now and another 10 waiting.
Meantime, Lisa just wants something done to get her son to school on time.
“He is frustrated. He goes out early because he doesn’t want to miss the bus and then he sits out here sweating and up,” she said.