Governor Roy Cooper announced a new initiative recently to support North Carolina’s school bus drivers.

Gov. Cooper said the state “desperately needs more school bus drivers” and the $1 million initiative will help address the growing shortage.

He made the announcement during a visit Tuesday to Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools’ transporation lot on Wilkinson Boulevard.

CMS is one of the state’s largest school districts and has been experiencing a bus driver shortage since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

According to a statement on the Governor’s official website, one of the biggest challenges is the time required to train new school bus driver because of trainer shortages.

Gov. Cooper’s initiative will include hiring seven temporary trainers to help get more drivers trained; providing retention bonuses to current school bus drivers of up to $3,000; purchasing two dedicated buses for Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) training use, and retention bonuses for current training staff.

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