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County Executive Pittman Issues Statement on Continued School Bus Driver Shortages

Annapolis, MD (Oct. 5, 2021) - Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman issued the following statement regarding continued school bus driver shortages:

“When I learned this morning that today we have 80 routes impacting 38 schools without bus service, and that many of the drivers at Annapolis Bus Company are continuing to stay home. I decided that we’ve done enough talking. Transportation is a fundamental obligation of Anne

Arundel County Public Schools, and it must be provided.

From Governor Hogan down to the drivers, and everyone in between there is agreement that we will only solve this problem by providing drivers with livable wages. We’ve talked hiring bonuses, retention bonuses, and higher hourly wages. We’ve talked AACPS American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars, county ARP dollars, and future county budgets.

The next step is that AACPS must put a proposal on the table. That’s what will give drivers hope that conditions will improve, and inspire others to apply for those jobs.

That’s what I said at today’s press briefing, and that’s what I hoped to say at today’s Board of Education meeting. I felt that it was important for the board, the whole board, in open session to hear that my administration is committed to supporting a plan, but that we need one - now.

My request to speak was denied. AACPS attorneys said it would need to be in closed session because it involves contracts. I said it needed to be public because the public is paying the price.

Stay tuned. One thing I’ve learned in this job is that moving the bureaucracy is hard. But move it we will.”

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