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Franklin parents scramble first day of school after district cancels 10 bus routes last minute

"I think the issue came with the late notification, the earlier the better for parents."
school bus
Posted at 8:46 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 23:17:16-04

FRANKLIN, Wis. — Hundreds of families in the Franklin Public School District were left scrambling after receiving a last-minute email that their bus routes were canceled on the first day of school.

Scott Kasen was one of the many parents left adjusting his work schedule in order to get his two elementary kids to school in time.

"I did have a moment where I checked my email and came back to my phone and saw the email and thought oh my goodness, better figure something out," said Kasen.

Kasen says at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday he received an email stating that his children's bus routes were canceled for the week due to staffing shortages.

"I think the issue came with the late notification, the earlier the better for parents."

School district leaders say they were working around the clock to figure out a solution before notifying parents.

"We were going to have 26 routes not covered throughout the day. We worked with filling those with existing bus drivers taking on another route finding external drivers wherever we could," said Chad Kafka, District Communications Specialist.

The district says they were able to cover 16 of those routes in short turnover.

"But that still left 10 routes not covered so we had to communicate to those families late afternoon on Wednesday once we had exhausted plans B, C, and D that unfortunately the routes would be canceled," said Kafka.

The district shared that they are working closely with their bus company, First Student, to figure out options going into next week.

"I totally get the frustration from parents. I would just ask for grace, patience, and understanding as we know from watching the news seeing not just locally but at the state level, and national level, there are bus driver shortages all over," said Kafka.

The district is urging parents to have a backup plan in place as they navigate through bus driver staffing shortages.

First Student is actively hiring bus drivers. Starting pay for the role is $22 per hour with a $3,000 sign-on bonus. To apply visit workatfirst.com.

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