More than 70 applicants showed up in the first hour of this job fair Friday, which the district says is an excellent turnout. Katy ISD cut bus routes in recent months, saying it just didn't have enough drivers.
Bus drivers are part-time, split shift positions. In the last year, the Katy district has had 900 applicants, but has hired only 40 drivers, it says, primarily because there are a number of job requirements, such as a clean driving record, and obtaining a commercial driver license, as well as the district being very selective about the people who have contact with students.
Katy ISD spokesperson Steve Stanford said, "We also just need the right people with the temperament to be a bus driver, to be able to manage students. Because it's not all just about driving the bus, it's also remembering that you've got 60 to 80 students sitting behind you that you need to also manage at the same time."
"My kids are all school age now, and I heard about this on the news, about Katy needing school bus drivers and attendants," said applicant Chenequa Johnson. "I decided, well, I've worked with special needs kids in the past so this would be a great opportunity for me to work with special needs kids again."
The district needs to fill 53 positions in order to get the bus routes back to where they were last year.