Buffalo Schools superintendent suggests National Guard to help with bus driver shortage

Posted at 10:31 PM, Sep 15, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash discussed the ongoing school bus driver shortage during the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night, even suggesting calling in the National Guard to help.

The school bus driver shortage is a nationwide issue. The governor of Massachusetts recently activated the National Guard to help drive children to school.

Board of Education Member-At-Large, Larry Scott, said calling on the National Guard might temporarily fix the bus driver shortage.

“We need to explore whether this is possible in New York,” Scott said. “We need our kids in school, every day, on time. And, that needs to start immediately.”

"A lot of the national guard, because of the vehicle training or the army training, or the armed forces training, they can drive buses, they have 7D licenses," said Dr. Cash, who then went on to say that he could reach out to Governor Kathy Hochul to ask for the help.

A spokesperson for Governor Kathy Hochul said “transporting kids to school is outside the current scope of the national guard,” but they will work “to identify practicable potential solutions."

“We need to look outside the box and look at all the options,” Scott said. “If the national guard is one of those options, it needs to be seriously pursued.”

Parents in the district have recently voiced their frustration with the delays in getting children home from school.

Other scenarios were also presented to the board, including paying parents to drive students to school, which the superintendent says he is not in favor of.

The district says they are continuing to work on a solution.