ALL NEWS

As the school year approaches, Utah schools are suffering a staff shortage

Jul 7, 2022, 6:00 PM

With the 2022-2023 school year on the horizon, some school districts in Utah are struggling with a ...

With the 2022-2023 school year on the horizon, some school districts in Utah are struggling with a staff shortage. Photo credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — The start of school is around the corner and some school districts are struggling with a staff shortage.

Salt Lake City School District is currently short bus drivers. Canyons School District said it also doesn’t have enough bus drivers, but it is short-staffed in other areas, like custodians and lunch workers as well. 

Staff shortage at Canyons School District

A spokesperson for the Canyons School District, Jeff Haney, said the problem is they’re not getting as many applicants as they once did. Haney said usually at this point in the summer, they have 20-30 applicants for bus drivers, but right now they have five.

The Canyons School District is offering a referral bonus for current employees and recently raised salaries for a lot of non-teaching positions. Haney said he hopes this will help them get more applicants.

They’re hiring bus drivers, custodians, and lunch workers. Haney said even if they’re not able to have a full staff, they’ll find a way to keep schools open.

“Well, it certainly is a struggle, but we make it work,” he said. “For example, last year, almost all of the office staff for our nutrition services department went to work in schools to prepare and serve food.”

Staff shortage at Salt Lake City School District

Ken Martinez, transportation manager for the Salt Lake City School District, said its bus driver shortage isn’t a new problem.

“This has been the trend for about the past six years,” Martinez said. “Six years ago, we were down a few bus drivers and each year it’s gotten progressively worse.”

He said the school district needs 12 drivers to have a full staff for the school year.

“We’ve actually been more fortunate than a lot of the school districts,” Martinez said. “A lot of school districts have had to double-up routes or start the routes exceptionally early.”

He said the problem isn’t finding qualified applicants, the district will train people. Martinez says the problem is finding applicants, period.

“I took a different approach, I started hiring at the end of the school year,” Martinez said. “Trying to hire and guarantee my drivers that I hired, I’d keep them busy during the summer with at least 20 hours in hopes of not having to do a mad rush of hiring in August just before school starts. And it seemed to help,” Martinez said.

Related stories

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Human remains found in the Duck Creek Ridge area of Kane County are believed to be those of Courtne...

Simone Seikaly

Investigators say they’ve found remains of Courtney Townsend

An ATV rider told officials he found clothing near a road in the Duck Creek Ridge area. He was reportedly familiar with the Courtney Townsend case.

6 minutes ago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to court for his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal ...

Simone Seikaly

LIVE: Closing arguments begin in Trump hush money trial

Former President Donald Trump faces felony charges related to a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, in 2016. 

35 minutes ago

Rare earth minerals...

Don Brinkerhoff

 Rare earth minerals found in Utah, Colorado, are critical for cleaner energy sources

Rare earth minerals have been found in Utah and Colorado mines according to University of Utah researchers.

5 hours ago

South Salt Lake Police have arrested a man who they say deliberately hit a police officer....

Peter Johnston

Police: man deliberately ran truck into officer weeks after death of Santaquin police Sgt.

Police said they arrested a man who they accuse of deliberately hitting an officer with his truck.

6 hours ago

Levi Wright, 3, vanished into a creek and was rescued a mile downstream....

Brittany Tait, KSL TV

Family friend of Levi Wright gives update on boy’s condition, worldwide support

A family friend of Levi Wright gave an update on the boy's condition after he was swept away in a river.

8 hours ago

John Prior speaks with Chad Daybell during a hearing in August 2020. An FBI agent testified Monday ...

Becky Bruce

Chad Daybell trial: witness testimony ends, closing arguments begin Wednesday

If the state of Idaho wraps up its questioning of rebuttal witnesses today, closing arguments in the trial of Chad Daybell would take place next.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

As the school year approaches, Utah schools are suffering a staff shortage