More than 25 million K through 12 students ride a bus to school each year in the United States.

Across the country, there’s a shortage right now of bus drivers — and the pandemic is making things worse.

After most schools switched to remote learning, many drivers were laid off. Drivers often receive low pay, with the national average being $16.81 an hour. That’s according to, a career website.

About 60 percent of students in Nedrose Public Schools use buses. The superintendent says there was an opening for a bus driver for about a month and a half — and only one person applied.

He says in order to get more drivers, they had to increase the hourly pay.

“We’re short,” said Matt Norby. “I mean there are times at 2 o’clock in the afternoon I’m still looking for a bus driver for the afternoon route. One time last year I did have to cancel a bus route for a day because I couldn’t get a bus driver.

I know a number of schools around the area, including us, have increased our rates to make it attractive for people who want to drive a bus.”

Norby says he hopes people looking for a part-time job will be interested in becoming a bus driver for the school district.