Answer to School Bus Driver Shortage, Activate the National Guard?
It may sound extreme, but it's happening in some places.
If you haven't been following the school bus driver shortage that has been affecting almost every school district in the Hudson Valley, it's gotten extremely bad for many school districts. New York isn't the only state that's dealing with the issue, as Massachusetts is as well and they have officially made a move to try and fix the problem, for now.
According to WCVB 5, Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker announced on Monday that he is activating the National Guard to help cities and towns across the commonwealth with the school transportation issues that many are facing.
Activating the National Guard in Massachusetts, will make up to 250 personnel available to local communities to help with school transportation for the 2021-2022 school year. The order starts with training on Tuesday (9/14) and 90 guard members will start service in four of the bigger counties in the commonwealth.
Why did Massachusetts turn to the National Guard? Gov. Baker said, "We asked a bunch of communities if they'd be interested in having Guard people drive vehicles for them, especially the smaller buses, and a bunch of communities said if you can figure out the legal issues and the paperwork and all the rest, that would be great."
Some are wondering if this move is a bit extreme, but Gov. Baker said its the best way to fix the issue, "We've had conversations with colleagues in municipal governments about the issue with drivers. It wasn't going to be a vehicle issue, but an issue with CDLs, that's when we started talking to the Guard."
Gov. Baker also said the Guard has people who drive trucks and have commercial driver's licenses so it was the best place to get help. CDL licenses are required for anyone to operate any type of commercial vehicles, including school buses. Activated Guard members will available to drive school transport vans known as 7D vehicles, which ae typically vans like a Ford Transit, to help with staffing shortages in certain districts.
With the nightmare's the bus driver shortage has caused across the Hudson Valley, should New York consider a similar move and activate the National Guard? What do you think?