CARMEL, Ind. – Bus drivers are in high demand throughout the country, and in Carmel, they are coming up with a novel idea to fix the problem – hire from within.
Carmel Clay Schools is offering bus driving routes to their teaching staff. The job requires teachers to get a CDL license and will pay them an additional $18,000 a year. So far, several teachers have signed up to take the wheel.
"I didn’t think twice about it," said Mike Bostic, who is a physical education teacher in the district. "I thought it was a great opportunity. I've got a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old with college upcoming.”
In additional to his teaching duties, Bostic spent 15 years as the varsity tennis coach and racked up nine state championships. When he was still coaching, Carmel Clay Schools paid him at the highest pay scale for a coach.
“I'm gonna make double being a bus driver than I did coaching," Bostic said.
His coaching days meant that he often got home after 6 p.m. or later. He’ll be home by 4:30 p.m. as a bus driver.
“Now, I'll just go to the transportation center early, get on the bus, run my routes," Bostic said.
The training and testing are paid by the district and can take up to two months to complete. Critics may argue the offer adds to a teacher's work load, one that is often underpaid. The district said hundreds of their teachers either have a second job or are paid coaches. This opportunity will likely pay more than those jobs at more ideal hours.
“I'm still mystified how that could even come up,” said Carmel Clay Associate Superintendent Roger McMichael on the notion that the voluntary opportunity is a burden. "We don’t have people saying, 'Are you putting pressure on people to be the football coach?' So why would that comment be made about this?"