PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY

Prince George's County Students Struggle as School Bus Driver Shortage Continues

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James McLean, drove his children to school after the bus never showed at their assigned Brandywine bus stop. That's when he finally got someone from school transportation on the phone.

The person on the phone said they changed the bus stop

"He said it is what it is," McLean said.

"Now that got me hot, we are talking about kid safety. You are talking about a kindergartner and a second grader not being picked up by the bus."

His children are now expected to walk half a mile to another neighborhood bus stop. Their street has no sidewalks.

A couple describes their frantic search for their daughter when they were told she didn't make it to her after school care center. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

"It's a new development, we have construction vehicles up and down the main road all day long. We're talking big construction vehicles," McLean said.

Telemundo 44 reported on a kindergartner who was left at the wrong bus stop by her school bus on Wednesday. Her parents searched for her for hours after waiting at the bus stop the school assigned them to.

The issues are all tied to a national bus driver shortage that has left Prince George's county schools short some 200 drivers. Parents like Allia Musgrove are now driving their kids to school.

"There has always been a bus stop at the front of the neighborhood and now there isn't one at all. They eliminated it and I found that out by calling," Musgrove said.

Musgrove says she learned her daughter, a freshman, would not have a bus and was expected to walk about 35 minutes to Largo High school along 202—a highway with no sidewalks.

"Any children who have to walk that distance, or just cross a main thoroughfare—it's not safe," Musgrove said.

The Prince George's County School system has the 12th largest bus fleet in the nation and with so many open positions, the district is asking parents to carpool or drive their kids until they can get more drivers hired. 

The Prince George's County School system declined an on-camera interview, but released a statement that said:

"Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is continuing to work through bus driver shortages and recruitment challenges along with the problems that tend to accompany the first few weeks of school. We understand the frustration that many families are experiencing. We sincerely apologize for those issues under our control and we will look to rectify them immediately."

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