South Bend School Bus Driver Shortage

The South Bend Community School Corporation is battling a shortage of school bus drivers that has forced students to be more than an hour late arriving at school or getting home.

South Bend Schools spokeswoman Sue Coney says nearly two dozen of the district's 200 bus routes lacked regular coverage in a recent week. She blames a high absenteeism rate and a shortage of substitute drivers. Bus drivers say low morale is largely to blame for the absenteeism. 

The union president says drivers are frustrated by what they perceive as disrespect from management and a culture of favoritism. The district is working to recruit new drivers, and Superintendent Carole Schmidt says she is aiming for big improvements before school resumes in August.