Amid the declaration of a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic causing school closings nationwide, some districts are ensuring drivers continue to be paid, in some cases by enlisting them to help feed students during the shutdown.
In Atlanta, Ga., The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that seven school districts they reached out to are working to maintain base wages for the majority of their employees. Meanwhile, starting Monday, Gwinnett County Public Schools bus drivers will deliver meals to 68 sites throughout the district area, according to the district's Facebook page.
As South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Sunday that all public schools would close from Monday through March 31, Molly Spearman, the state education superintendent said that teachers will continue to be paid as well as staff such as cafeteria workers and bus drivers, Greenville News reports.
Additionally, in Massachusetts, Framingham Public Schools will continue to pay for school bus service during the school closures, which started on Wednesday after an area resident tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, Framingham Patch reports.
Lincoln Lynch, the district’s executive director of finance and operations, told the news source that although the drivers may not be district employees, “ … we consider them to be such an important part of our student's experiences here at Framingham Public Schools and value them as if they were our employees."
“We will continue to share resources to help families cope with this evolving situation as we all work to support each other during this unprecedented time,” the district stated in an announcement about the school closings on its website.
A Kentucky district is also getting meals to students while schools are shut down. Fayette County Public Schools is offering boxed breakfasts and lunches for those 18 years old or younger at 115 school bus stops and 18 school locations, according to Lexington Herald Leader.