Fort Worth schools are trying to edge out the competition for school bus drivers with a $500 bonus for new hires and incentive pay for drivers with perfect or "almost-perfect" attendance.
The details of the district's plan were described in a website announcement titled: "Fort Worth ISD offers financial incentives to new and veteran school bus drivers."
Starting this month, new bus school drivers will get a $500 bonus when they commit for a year. The bonus will be awarded to bus drivers at the end of next school year, the announcement states.
The push for more school bus drivers comes amid widespread competition for qualified drivers, said district officials. School districts are looking for employees with valid Texas commercial driver's licenses. These employees are also highly sought in the private sector.
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"We are willing to do what it takes to hire good, new drivers and to keep our great veteran drivers," Clint Bond, spokesman for the district, said in a message. "That's why we are offering financial incentives to both groups."
The district needs to hire about 100 drivers.
Recent headlines across Texas highlight the hiring competition for drivers among school districts. Earlier this year, Allen schools raised pay for drivers. Meanwhile in Dallas, an effort is underway to build a new transportation system — further increasing the competition.
An online job description for a bus driver in Fort Worth schools lists an hourly wage of $15.14-$18.92 an hour.
All bus drivers will be able to participate in the attendance incentive program. Bus drivers who complete all their scheduled routes during the school year can get an extra $12 per day, according to the district. Bus drivers with 95 percent attendance can get an extra $9 per day.
The attendance bonus pay goes out in January and June.
There are 177 instructional days in the upcoming school year.
For more information, contact the district's transportation recruiting office at 817-815-7918.