While state lawmakers have reached a deal on legislation that would allow speed cameras on school buses lobbyists in Albany are pushing for another safety measure – bus aides.
The legislation would require school buses carrying young children to have an attendant to help kids on and off the bus.
In the Niagara Falls City School District, about one-third have bus aides out of about 80 bus routes.
Superintendent Mark Laurrie says he agrees some buses should have them but he says with the current bus driver and aide shortage happening nationwide requiring them wouldn’t help.
“We have trouble finding them now to mandate that. Riding every bus would be a very difficult chore and one that’s certainly costly,” Laurrie said.
The legislation is part of the bill package that includes allowing cameras on buses to catch speeding drivers.
It would require monitors for students in kindergarten through 6th grade.
New York State United Teachers, the group pushing for the change, says currently there’s too much pressure on drivers to drive safely and watch students.
Laurrie said he’s planning on partnering with the Buffalo Peacemakers to have them at bus stops to help students get on and off the bus safely.
He says they’ll be trying that out for two weeks at the end of this school year next month.