GOLDSBORO, N.C. — A school system here is making driving a bus a requirement for new support staff members due to ongoing bus driver shortages, WNCN reports.

The Wayne County Board of Education approved a requirement for new custodians, cafeteria workers, and teaching assistants to obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses and train as school bus drivers so they can fill in as substitutes when necessary, according to the news source. About 16 employees are currently participating in a three-day CDL training class.

Robert Lee, the director of transportation for Wayne County Public Schools, told WNCN that his department deals with constant turnover, and that maintenance employees and managers often have to step in as backup drivers due to overtime restrictions and time off for bus drivers.

Lee added that support staff members who have worked for the schools before this summer will be grandfathered in and exempt from the new requirements, according to the news source, and that as new hires replace outgoing employees, the school system will have a significant pool of available backup drivers.

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