Michigan school district officials hope a new online training course for bus drivers will help them comply with federal regulations and ease the driver shortage.
Wayne County Middle School District Wayne RESA helped develop the course. It allows school bus drivers in training to complete a theoretical part of the beginner driver training entirely online. This is required for all new school bus drivers by federal law starting this week. School bus drivers must also undergo driver training and pass a road skills test to obtain their commercial driver’s license with the appropriate certifications, a process that typically takes about a month.
Michael Latvis, senior executive director of legislative affairs at Wayne RESA, said school bus driver training in Michigan can take the course from anywhere, anytime.
“They’ll be given a, basically a password, which they can plug into our website and go on and take the course,” Latvis said. “So you can take it to Marquette, you can take it to Detroit, you can take it to Grand Rapids.”
“The great thing is that school districts across the state no longer have to worry about creating their own training program to meet this federal requirement.”
Latvis said the course also automatically reports results to the federal government.
Wayne RESA estimates that there are currently approximately 5,000 open school bus driver positions in Michigan.