Beach, Gopal Bill to Streamline Type S School Bus Driver Certification Advances

3203

Trenton – In an effort to address bus driver shortages, the Senate Education Committee today advanced legislation, sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Vin Gopal, which would permit the holder of a Type S school bus certificate to operate a Type S school bus to transport children to and from school without needing to first obtain a commercial driver license (CDL), passenger endorsement, or school bus endorsement.

 

“As we move further into the school year, we must continue to address the shortage of qualified school bus drivers,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden/Burlington). “This bill will establish a responsible path for people with standard drivers’ licenses to obtain a Type S certificate, and provide districts a greater pool of drivers from which to meet their specific needs.”

 

Under the bill, S-3203, a person would be eligible to apply for the Type S certificate if they are at least 21 years old; have held a valid basic driver’s license for at least three years; have completed training established on appropriate procedures for interacting with students with special needs, as well as meeting other requirements.

 

“Although, the bus driver shortage is not as high as it was during the peak of the COVID 19 pandemic, school districts are still finding it hard to find drivers. Having more applicants qualify on the S level certification will help us meet the need that has become evident based on conversations with school officials and parents,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth), Chair of the Education Committee.

 

Currently, drivers of Type S school buses need to have CDL bus and passenger endorsement. This bill will provide a sensible, targeted path for people to be able get certified to drive a Type S school bus, and free up CDL drivers to drive the bigger, traditional school buses.