RICHMOND, Va. — At least three school districts in the Richmond area are raising pay for their bus drivers to attract new drivers and retain current ones.

Henrico County Public Schools just increased the hourly wage to $14.18 for starting school bus drivers, will pay up to $14.86 for experienced drivers, and raised pay to $13.51 per hour for substitute drivers, according to a news release from the district. The raise is nearly a 5% increase, according to WRIC. Additionally, qualified driver candidates will be paid while they train.

Josh Davis, the director of pupil transportation for Henrico County Public Schools, told the news source that the district hopes that higher pay will help to fill dozens of open driver positions, and that its pay needs to be competitive.

The district is also planning to hire school nutrition workers and teachers in critical subjects such as middle school and high school math, Spanish, and science.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield County Public Schools is boosting its bus driver pay to $14.41 an hour starting this fall, and Hanover County Public Schools is paying $14.36 per hour, a 10% increase, WRIC reports.

The wage increases appear to be part of a national trend of raising school bus driver pay to contend with a persistent driver shortage.

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