PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Walking miles to class is the only option for some Pasco County students this school year.
District leaders said they’ve cut bus routes due to a driver shortage.
“We want to make sure our kids are being transported safely, so, we’ve had to take some pretty extreme measures,” Superintendent Kurt Browning said.
The latest measure means middle and high school students who live within two miles of campus no longer have the option of riding the bus.
Parents reached out to 8 on Your Side concerned about the new rule.
News 8 reporter Beth Rousseau walked the distance herself to see what kids will face on their way to school.
The walk to Chasco Middle School was hot. There were signs and crosswalks but there were also speeding cars and busy intersections.
She clocked the time and distance of the walk. It took 36 minutes to make the 1.74 mile journey.
Some students will be making the trek twice a day.
The change only applies to middle and high school students for the 2022-23 school year.
Browning said if the district isn’t able to fill open bus driver positions, they’ll be forced to phase in the same rule for elementary school students during the 2023-24 school year.
“We are actively recruiting more bus drivers and I will tell you, the pay is not what we’ve wanted it to be,” Browning said. “We’re making pretty significant adjustments to bus driver and assistant’s pay this year. We’re hoping this will help us recruit.”