Horsehead, N.Y. (WETM) – As the school year gets closer area school districts across the area are trying to deal with a shortage in bus drivers.

“In Horseheads, like many other organizations in the state in the US, we’re struggling to hire and retain school bus drivers. Right now we’re seeing across the board shortages. So we are trying to overcome those by a respectful rate of pay on paying drivers to get trained to help them through the federal hurdles, trying to get their commercial driver’s license.” said Rich Micelotta, the Director of Transportation for the Horsehead School District.

“So it’s that nationwide problem of, you know, it’s hard to get people to come in and work the early mornings and late afternoons. And you know, the pay hasn’t always been great. I know a lot of denials a lot of art. I know our district and neighboring districts have, you know, increased their their pay or paying to train their drivers, you know, to help influence people to or encouraged people to come in via a driver but it’s, it’s still tough.” said Derek Ortiz, the Transportation Director of the Bath Central School District.

“Our job is to make sure it doesn’t affect our parents or our children. So we’re going ahead and trying to be ahead of the curve with our hiring and our training to make sure all our kids get to school and to home safe and sound.” added Micelotta.

Horseheads has a fleet of 71 vehicles that are routinely used. The school district will help new drivers get their commercial driver’s license and help them through all the federal hurdles to become a bus driver.