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Baltimore County Council says BCPS is flunking transportation


Baltimore County Council members say the school system’s handling of its buses is a failure.

They say buses are arriving late or not at all and they are hearing about it from constituents.

“It’s the number one thing every council member I think is hearing about,” Republican Councilman David Marks said at a meeting Wednesday with School Superintendent Darryl Williams.

During that meeting, Marks got a message from Perry Hall Middle School.

“Three buses are late,” Marks said. “I get these messages every single day.”

Democratic Councilman Tom Quirk said he gets texts almost daily about late or no-show buses.

Quirk said, “It falls disproportionately on working families, a lot of families out there, they depend on public school bus transportation. They have to get to their jobs in the morning.”

The school system reports it currently has about 100 bus driver vacancies. The school bus driver shortage is a nationwide problem, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Superintendent Williams said they are holding job fairs throughout the year and the county is trying to speed up the time it takes someone to get a school bus driver’s license.

“When we start looking at our compensation package, and looking at the work conditions, and aggressively recruiting, our goal is to fill these vacancies so we can improve the services,” Williams told the council.

Some parents have taken to posting screenshots on social media of late notifications from the school system of delayed or canceled buses.

“I look forward to a day when we do have an app with vehicle locators on there so people can see where their bus is or get timely information if a bus can’t make it,” Council Chairman Julian Jones said.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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