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Columbia Public Schools dealing with staffing shortages

Columbia Public Schools buses.
Columbia Public Schools buses.


Brian Yearwood, Superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, says the district continues to deal with staffing shortages in both substitute teachers and bus drivers.

CPS contracts both positions. Student Transportation of America staffs new bus drivers and EDUStaff finds substitutes for the district.

Yearwood says teachers need to be in the classroom this year and says the district is, "making a stronger push, because that is a great area of need with our bus drivers, with our paraprofessionals, with our substitutes. We're beginning to see there's a bit of a gap there that we definitely need to get filled."

Michelle Baumstark with the school district said schools are also having a very difficult time hiring paraprofessionals in part, due to hourly pay.

People interested in applying to be a substitute can apply on EDUStaff's website. According to the website, applicants must hold a degree and must have completed a teacher preparation program. Applicants can also apply for a substitute certificate through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

People can apply for bus driver positions through Student Transportation for America's website. Applicants must be 21 or older, have three years of driving history and pass a background check.

Not all schools in Mid-Missouri are dealing with shortages. Ryan Burns with Jefferson City Schools said the district has no shortages ahead of the new school year.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.


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