Pasco School Board to discuss changing bell times due to bus driver shortage

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PASCO COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – Today, Pasco County School Board members are set to discuss making changes to the school bell schedule to deal with the district’s bus driver shortage.

The shortage is resulting in kids waiting longer for the bus and showing up late to school.

“We need to come up with a plan because it’s not fair to the students who are losing instructional time every single day. There are some kids that are late to first period every day. We can’t just sit back and hope things get better,” said Spokesperson for Pasco County Schools, Steve Hegarty.

Last month, Superintendent Kurt Browning posted a video about the proposal, saying the bus driver shortage was 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.

Hegarty tell 8 On Your Side that the school district has already received tons of feedback about the proposed changes. While there are a few parents who don’t mind the change, a majority of them are not in favor of it.

“We have got hundreds of responses from parents saying it’s going to be an inconvenience and asking why they are doing it,” added Hegarty.

School board members are set to discuss the changes to the bell schedule during their meeting today.

If the board approves of the plan, it will not go into effect until January when students return rom winter break.

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