ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The largest school district in the state is once again seeing a bus driver shortage. We’re hearing from their union president about why it’s hard to retain drivers – pay and student discipline.  Kathy Chavez says one of the biggest reasons bus drivers leave the job is because of the bad behavior of the students on board.

Chavez, the president of the Albuquerque federation of classified professionals, says despite recent pay increases, there is a lot more incentive to drive for other companies. She says they’ve lost quite a few drivers to companies like Amazon, who pay more, and they don’t have to deal with disciplinary problems. She says behavior has gotten worse and enforcing the rules, isn’t always easy.

“In the discipline part, there is a discipline policy, but it is not always followed. And you cannot throw the kids off the bus, you know, you don’t want to do that, you know, and now they’re talking about no discipline,” Chavez said.

They are missing at least 40 drivers. That means those who are still there may have to drive double or triple routes. Some routes are also being consolidated, meaning a lot of stops are being axed.

Right now, bus drivers are offered $15 an hour until a CDL is obtained, once they get that license, they’re eligible for $20 an hour.

Aps is also seeing a big shortage in educational assistants, nurses and secretaries. They are looking to fill nearly 200 special education teacher positions. That is always one of the greatest needs.