Pasco school leaders to discuss changing school start times due to bus driver shortage

Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pasco County School District is considering changing school start and end times from students across the county.

The proposal is the result of the school bus driver shortage. Superintendent Kurt Browning says the situation is bad.

“This year, the bus driver shortage is worse than ever,” Browning told parents in a video message. “The result of this acute shortage is that many of our students are late arriving at school in the morning, which results in loss of instructional time, and they are late arriving home in the afternoon.”

Browning feels if start and end times for students are adjusted, that could maximize the use of buses and drivers.

“So that we can spread the drivers out and use fewer drivers to carry the same number of kids,” said Browning. “It’s an unfortunate place that we find ourselves and nobody is happy about it including this superintendent.”

Click here for the link to the proposed changes:

Eight On Your Side caught up with some parents as they watched their daughters at a softball game at Oakridge Park. Jamie Hernandez understands why the district has to make this tough decision.

“My daughter actually has a friend who attends a different middle school,” said Hernandez. “And she waits two hours in the morning to catch the bus at her bus stop and she waits two hours in the evening for the bus to come back.”

Charies Mejias is hoping a later start time for her daughter might net positive results.

“If it’s later, I mean just by like 15 minutes, might give her a little extra time to get ready in the morning,” said Mejias. “To maybe have breakfast at home.”

District leaders will discuss the plan at a workshop on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, but there will be no public comment. The issue is scheduled to come before the board during the regular school board meeting on Nov. 2nd. The public will have an opportunity to address the school board at that meeting.

If board members approve the plan, it would not go into effect until January.

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