U.S. Department of Education Announces Joint Temporary Action with U.S. Department of Transportation to Help Address School Bus Driver Labor Shortage

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In the present day, the U.S. Division of Transportation introduced, in coordination with the U.S. Division of Schooling (Division), that the Federal Motor Provider Security Administration (FMCSA) is giving states the choice of waiving the portion of the business driver’s license (CDL) expertise take a look at that requires candidates to determine the “beneath the hood” engine parts. All different parts of the written and highway take a look at will stay.

This announcement goals to alleviate a number of the labor scarcity challenges faculties are dealing with and is one in all many assets the Division continues to supply to soundly preserve faculties open for full-time, in-person studying.

“This Administration is listening to the wants of college communities and stays dedicated to creating certain faculties are open safely for in-person studying full time,” stated U.S. Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona. “We’ve heard from educators and oldsters that labor shortages, notably of bus drivers, are a roadblock to conserving youngsters in faculties. In the present day’s announcement will give states the pliability they should assist improve the pool of drivers, who’re a key a part of the varsity neighborhood, and get youngsters to highschool safely every day the place college students be taught greatest. And American Rescue Plan funds can be used to rent these essential workers, together with providing elevated compensation or different incentives to recruit and retain workers.”

“This federal waiver will assist states which can be brief on bus drivers,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “By permitting states to give attention to the testing necessities which can be essential to security, we are going to get extra, certified drivers behind the wheel to get youngsters to highschool safely.”  

Drivers receiving a CDL beneath this non permanent waiver are permitted to function intrastate faculty buses solely; they aren’t approved to function vehicles, motorcoaches, or another kind of economic motorized vehicle requiring a CDL.

The FMCSA waiver, which grew to become efficient Jan. 3, 2022, expires March 31, 2022.

As of December, with the assistance of American Rescue Plan funds and different efforts, practically all faculties had been open for full-time, in-person instruction. The Division not too long ago issued a brand new useful resource to state and native leaders stressing the significance of full-time, secure, in-person studying and the way federal funds can be utilized to obtain that purpose together with to successfully recruit and retain workers.

Final month, Secretary Cardona outlined actions the Biden Administration was taking to deal with labor shortages in faculties. The Secretary despatched a letter to state and native leaders demonstrating how faculties and states are utilizing American Rescue Plan funds to deal with labor shortages throughout the nation. In November, the Division issued an FAQ on how faculties can use American Rescue Plan funds to deal with transportation points which may disrupt in-person studying. The Division additionally hosted webinars to help districts in utilizing federal {dollars} to recruit, retain, and rent extra workers. Moreover, the Inner Income Service has issued FAQs clarifying that, in some cases, retirees can return to work and nonetheless obtain their pensions

In the present day’s waiver and the assets offered by the Division underscore the Administration’s dedication to secure, in-person studying. Along with these assets and the greater than $130 billion for Okay-12 training within the American Rescue Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration has:

Prioritized the vaccination of educators, faculty workers and baby care employees resulting in greater than 90% of college workers vaccinated nationwide.
Hosted a National Safe School Reopening Summit.
Partnered with the CDC and the Rockefeller Basis to supply assets to assist be sure that all faculties can entry and arrange screening testing applications as rapidly as attainable.
Offered $10 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing for PreK-12 educators, workers, and college students.
Developed a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse elevating lots of of greatest practices to help faculties’ efforts to reopen safely and deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on college students, educators, and communities.
Held the Return To School Road Trip, a bus tour that visited faculties throughout 5 states in 5 days see the influence of federal assets on-the-ground and spotlight faculty communities returning to highschool safely.
Introduced new mental health resources to supply info and assets to reinforce the promotion of psychological well being and the social and emotional well-being amongst kids and college students.
Offered a FAQ outlining allowable use of funds for ESSER and GEER funding for coronavirus testing amongst different makes use of.
Launched three volumes of the COVID-19 Handbook to determine evidence-based methods to satisfy the social, emotional, psychological well being, and educational wants of scholars and help the educator workforce.
Launched a collection of Fairness Summits targeted on addressing inequities that existed earlier than, however had been made worse by the pandemic.
Launched a report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on underserved communities.



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