BOE worrying about shortage of qualified school bus drivers
The Elbert County Board of Education (BOE), after receiving two more recent resignations, is now facing a critical shortage of school bus drivers.
“It isn’t just our school system,” said Elbert County School Superintendent Chuck Bell at Monday’s BOE meeting.
Bell said there are currently four vacancies for drivers in the school system. But the local school system is better off than some, Bell told the board.
“Right now, the Clarke County school system has 28 vacancies for bus drivers,” said Bell.
Should the Elbert County school system lose more bus drivers, the school system could possibly have to resort to increasing school routes for some school buses, said Bell. As of now, the current staff is covering all the bus routes in Elbert County.
Elbert County Chief Financial Officer Ben Childs, who was not at the school board’s work session earlier this month, told the board that Elbert County’s January SPLOST funds of approximately $321,000 defies all logic.
“In the five or six years I have been here I have never seen this much SPLOST money in any one month,” said Childs. “When they were constructing the pipeline we had one month that totaled $290,000, but we’ve never come closer than that since I have been here.”
Childs said he “asked everyone I know to ask” about any tax revenues in manufacturing that would have led to the increase, but Childs said “nobody knows.”
Although the school board has taken in the funds, Childs said he is holding back $150,000 from that SPLOST allotment just in case.
“We are not going to count our chickens just yet,” said Childs, who has been repeatedly told by the Georgia Department of Revenue that the tax revenue for the school system is correct.
Nancy Ball, a para-professional at Elbert County Elementary School, was selected as the school system’s employee of the month for January. Ball received the award for her work as a Spanish translator at the school and her many other contributions, according to Elbert County Elementary School Principal Celina Brown.