BATON ROUGE, La. — School bus operators hired on or after July 1 won’t be eligible for tenure, under newly enacted state legislation.
Previously, Louisiana school bus drivers attained the job protection after passing a three-year probationary term.
The bill to end the tenure provision for new school bus drivers was introduced earlier this year and was sponsored by Rep. Joe Harrison, who said that Louisiana was the only state that gave tenure to school bus drivers.
Backers said that the tenure provision has been costly for school districts, but opponents argued that it was needed to protect the drivers from arbitrary firings.
The legislation was signed into law on Monday by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
School bus operators hired before July 1 of this year will keep their tenure — under which they are regular and permanent operators in the employ of the school board they serve.
But, according to the new law, drivers hired on or after that date won’t be able to earn tenure and “may be removed from their position as provided by the personnel policy of the employing school board.”
Louisiana has close to 14,000 school bus drivers, many of whom own the bus they operate.