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A scarcity of substitute school bus drivers was noted at this week's meeting of the North Adams School Board.
Business Manager Larry Carty said it is difficult to get trained subs and this is not a problem that exists just within the North Adams community. He noted that North Adams absorbed three former sub drivers into regular routes this year depleting the supply of subs.
Coupled with increased transportation demands generated by half-day pre-school classes and after-school remedial programs, the transportation resources are being stretched to the limit.
In a written note to the board, Carty said "a desperate need is developing for substitute drivers. In addition, consideration of limits on transportation funding threatens even greater constraints on our system's flexibility and capacity. It is time to begin considering alternative means of providing transportation for curricular and extra-curricular activities associated with education. We may no longer be able to function as a taxi service."
NA Superintendent Dr. Wylie Sirk said he meets regularly with South Adams Superintendent Scott Litwiller and Adams Central Superintendent Mike Pettibone. Sirk said he was going to suggest the three school corporations join forces to develop a list of substitute drivers they could pull from as a means to ease the demand.
Carty noted that the situation for subs was further affected by the fact that three drivers retired at the end of the 2012 school year. Two of those three drivers, however, have rejoined the NA fleet as substitutes this year.