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Meeting held to discuss transportation problems in the Jasper County School District

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:43 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - “It really hurts me. It really really hurts me because this is home,” said Myra Ulmer, a former Jasper County bus driver.

Around 70 parents gathered in Jasper County Thursday night, feeling that same pain. We reported on bussing struggles in the district back in August, and people said nothing’s changed.

Their kids are still struggling to get to school and the number of drivers dwindling. One former driver said an action by the district is to blame.

“When we got the letter to say that we would no longer be bus drivers and had to re-apply for our jobs.”

She kept that letter which says drivers will be required to have the same motor vehicle credentials to serve as a driver; in addition to the credentials below to serve as a paraprofessional. Ulmer said that means the district was going to make bus drivers work in the classroom as well... something many refused to do.

Isaiah Holman, who is also a former Jasper County bus driver, said,“I was forced out to resign because I didn’t follow their instruction of going in the classroom.”

That’s not the only reason both of these bus drivers now work in Beaufort County instead of Jasper though. Ulmer said after 35 years on the job she was only making $16 dollars an hour, a salary still much higher than that of a newer driver.

“I came here and they started me off at $9 or something an hour and here Beaufort County was paying about $15 an hour.”

While both say they enjoy their jobs in Beaufort County, they also said they wish things in Jasper went different and they’d be willing to return if there was change. With this being the group’s biggest concern, they want the priority moving forward to be clear.

“We need to leave the personal stuff out and we need to just focus on the kids getting to and from school.”

The district declined to comment on these transportation troubles, but claims they’re hiring three more drivers and offering sign-on bonuses to try to incentivize new drivers to come work in Jasper county.

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