BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — East Baton Rouge School Board members approved a pay raise for part-time school bus drivers.

This increase goes from $10.50/hr. to $13.29/hr for 90 days. This will cost an additional $41,000 from the general funds.

Child nutrition workers, coaches, and external employees will fill in as part-time drivers. According to Chief Operating Officer for the school system, Monique Scott-Spaulding, EBR schools currently do not have any part-time drivers and 62 bus operator vacancies.

During Thursday’s meeting, school board member Evelyn Ware-Jackson questioned if people already on the job will be able to do a bus route. Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse says the school system is still looking to figure that out.

“Once the school board makes this decision, we can look at various ways to make those shifts and changes,” said Narcisse. “Yeah, so we will get them in place and figure it out as we go, yes ma’am,” said Jackson.

Spaulding says they will make sure no schedules among full-time and part-time hours interfere.

“5 in the morning until 8, 8:30 will be the morning time frame and the afternoon time frame begins at 1:30 p.m.,” she said.

School teacher Storm Matthews says the plan will not work because of schedules and lack of pay.

“Yes, let’s do a raise, but, why don’t we do a raise for full-time bus drivers, and maybe we will get them to stay,” she said.

Father, Patrick Mehaffey, has kids who experience the impact of the lack of bus drivers all year. He says problems with overcrowding has gotten better, but his youngest daughter comes home around 5 p.m. due to the shortage. Mehaffey says the pay raise is a step in the right direction, however, it’s taken too long for the school system to do something about the shortage.

“They deal with the worst traffic, noise, and inconsiderate drivers,” said Mehaffey. “How much would it take for you to drive that? I know it would take a lot for me to do it.”

Mehaffey says the pay increase is not nearly enough.

“I think we need to take care of these people and make it a job that is attractive, make it a job that is worthwhile to keep the good people that we have,” he said.

The school system is currently looking at a compensation study for all departments, bus drivers are included in the study. There’s no confirmation if full-time drivers can see a raise in the future.