Bus Driver Shortage Forces Some Oswego Schools to Cancel In-Person Learning

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A bus driver shortage forced a suburban school district to switch some of its schools to remote learning Tuesday, closing multiple schools down to students.

Community Unit School District 308 in Oswego wrote in an "urgent message" early Tuesday that "due to a large number of bus driver absences today, we cannot accommodate transportation for all students."

The shortage forced the district's high school and junior high into remote learning, with officials saying the school buildings are not open for student attendance. Staff would still need to report to classrooms, however.

Early learning classes were also canceled Tuesday, except for the district's Deaf and Hard of Hearing program.

Elementary schools would remain open for in-person attendance and busses would still run, though "large delays" were expected.

Bus driver shortages have been reported across Illinois and the country.

More than 2,000 Chicago Public Schools students and their families faced a major disruption as the school year began last month when approximately 10% of bus drivers contracted to work for the district resigned the week of Aug. 23, a sharp increase driven by COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

CPS is offering affected families stipends of $1,000 for the first two weeks and $500 the following months. The city is also exploring the possibility of creating partnerships with rideshare companies, such as Uber or Lyft, to offer transportation for students when buses aren't available.

Amid a national school bus driver shortage, the Massachusetts National Guard is being activated to help get kids to schools at the start of the new year.

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