TOPEKA (KSNT) – A letter sent out to parents of children in the Shawnee Heights school district highlights a severe shortage in bus drivers.

The letter, which was written by USD 450 Communications Director Tiffanie Kinsch, explained the central issue is understaffing.

“We continue to work on adjusting schedules and recruiting; however, we face the possibility that drivers may have to take on a double route for a day or two if a bus driver must be absent for any reason,” Kinsch wrote.

Bus routes could be delayed up to two hours while drivers accommodate for double duty, according to Kinsch. Families with the school district will be notified by text and email about any delays. Parents are invited to pick up or drop off their children if this situation happens. Any tardies that result from this will not be counted.

Kinsch told 27 News this has been an ongoing problem with the district for the last two years.

“I don’t really know why we haven’t been able to get bus drivers since the pandemic started,” Kinsch said. “I don’t know if that’s a reason or not.”

To combat the shortage, Kinsch said the district may soon offer new benefits to bus drivers to entice more to sign up. If you or someone you know is looking for a job as a bus driver with USD 450, click here.