Monroe Co., Sweetwater City Schools may not have bus routes for every student
Monroe County Schools and Sweetwater City Schools may not have enough drivers and contractors to serve all students.
MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Monroe County Schools and Sweetwater City Schools may not have enough bus drivers and contractors to serve all the students who need bus services for the upcoming school year.
“I’m worried for the kids,” J.E. Miles, a Monroe County school bus driver and contractor, said, “I’ve got some kids that ride my bus that school is their meal.”
Miles said it’s a problem that’s deeper than the labor shortage. It goes into money as well.
Miles tells me in the last contract from last school year each bus was given $4,000 per year to help with maintenance and upkeep. But that money is not yet in place.
“We feel that we had lost money,” Miles explained.
The Monroe County School Board Transportation Committee Chairman, Dean Williams, said, “If they’ll [bus drivers and contractors] just give us time, we’ll try to take care of that.”
Williams said if everything goes right six or seven routes will be covered in Sweetwater. But Miles said half those would still need to be filled, potentially. Miles also said there are about four routes in Vonore, seven in Madisonville and possibly seven in Tellico Plains that needed to be picked up.
But Williams said some of those routes may be covered by drivers already in place.
Williams said on the phone, “Most of the students will have buses to ride, we’re not saying all of the routes will be covered.”
Williams said that means families “will just need to look and see what routes have been picked up and make plans according to that.”
“It hurts my heart for the parents,” Miles said.
The Director of Schools for Sweetwater City Schools, Rodney Boruff, emailed a statement:
Monroe County Schools and Sweetwater City Schools begin August 5th with a half day. Buses start running Monday Aug. 8.
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