WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — The Wimberley Independent School District is rewarding its bus drivers for perfect attendance with extra money at the end of every month.
“A $100 incentive for those who have perfect attendance each month,” said Wimberley ISD spokesperson Allen Bruggman.
Like many other districts in Texas, Bruggman said WISD is experiencing a bus driver shortage.
“We’re so stretched thin that one driver misses, it forces everything to be shuffled,” Bruggman said.
That’s why the district created this $100 monthly incentive for drivers who don’t miss a morning or afternoon route.
“They could garner $6- to 700 of extra money if they have perfect attendance all throughout the year,” Bruggman said.
Another incentive approved by the school board was a pay rate for emergency bus drivers.
“We went to all those coaches or teachers who have their bus driver certification, and we said, ‘hey, can any of you guys pitch in on a morning route or an afternoon route if it comes to that?’ Thus far we got a handful that said, ‘I can do it,'” Bruggman said.
They approved $40 per route for those drivers that step in when needed. Bruggman said there are two bus drivers in the process of getting their licenses, but that it could take six months.
Until then, the district hopes to encourage the drivers it does have to keep showing up as much as they can.
“It’s a little something we can do with the budget constraints that are also a part of this situation to help these bus drivers know you’re appreciated, we love when you come to work when you can, and we know you’re there for our kids,” Bruggman said.
Along with these incentives, Bruggman said the district is looking to find ways to increase pay for its bus drivers.
Right now, he said their posted starting rate is $17.77, which is lower than bigger districts nearby like Dripping Springs ISD and the Hays Consolidated Independent School District.