The Senate Finance Committee will debate a measure today that would increase the pay for school bus drivers. Covington Senator Patrick McMath, the bill’s sponsor, stated that driver pay rates haven’t increased since the 1980s, something must be done in order for them to properly maintain their cars.
According to McMath, “They own their own school buses. They’re responsible for bringing our kids to and from school in a safe manner, and we need to make sure they have the best equipment to be able to do that.”
For buses carrying 48 or fewer passengers, the tariff would rise to a minimum of $1.47 a mile and a minimum of $1.76 a mile, respectively, under Senate Bill 57.
There is a scarcity of both teachers and drivers who ensure that pupils can travel to and from school, according to McMath.
“It is very apparent and the sickouts that have taken place across the state, these guys are frustrated they just can’t afford to do this work anymore without this help,” said McMath.
In the past, McMath has said that he voted against similar legislation because he was unaware of how the low pay rate was affecting school bus drivers. Driver salary should be raised since McMath is a parent of four children who ride the school bus.
“It’s not a question of if we can’t afford it, we must be able to afford it because, without school bus operators, we’re in a pickle,” said McMath.
Louisiana’s School Boards Association and the Senate Education Committee voted unanimously in favor of this legislation.