As school administrators across the state hustle to fill teacher positions, many also struggle to hire and maintain enough bus drivers.
In Rapid City, the first day of school is just a week away and the district still has five open bus-driver positions. Superintendent Tim Mitchell says there's competition from private truck-driving jobs, including some in the North Dakota oil fields.
New medical requirements are also having an impact.
“We do believe that it is causing some concerns long term, both the health certificates that are required and the fact that they can find salary increases at other places,” Rapid City Superintendent Tim Mitchell said.
Mitchell said administrators are weighing their options, which include rearranging routes or running double routes.
And some maintenance staff who have commercial driver's licenses might drive some of the routes until jobs are filled.