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School increases health insurance benefits to attract drivers!

posted Mar 15, 2017, 12:36 PM by Cabool R-IV Schools
As a way to possibly attract more drivers for the district’s school bus routes, Cabool Board of Education on Monday evening approved providing all bus drivers health insurance with the premium fully paid by the district.

The school district had limited its portion of group health insurance for district employees to $376 a month. This year the monthly premium for the base plan offered is $450. Employees have paid the difference between the health coverage plan they select and the $376 paid by the district.

However, Cabool like other school districts has had difficulty hiring bus drivers.

In his written transportation department evaluation presented at the school board meeting March 13, transportation director Rex Doston noted, “One of the problems that I feel needs to be looked at is finding ways to attract drivers. The shortage of drivers has become a systemic problem not just for our district, but for all districts. This problem affects not only route drivers, but sub and trip drivers as well. Some possible incentives: higher wages, raising the insurance cap to match current cost, and make it mandatory for coaches to have their bus license to help drive sporting events and sub routes. These ideas may not be achievable due to budget constraints or other unknown factors, but something is needed to attract and keep drivers.”

The school district employs 11 full-time bus drivers, covering nine regular routes and two handicap routes. Students transported by bus total 558, excluding preschool students.

The school board vote to lift the insurance premium cap for bus drivers was unanimous, with Kevin Clary, Cyndi Flanagan, Brenda Jarrett, Mike Luerssen, Ted Noirfalise, Jacob Reese and Shaun Watson all in support.

News Article By: The Cabool Enterprise