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Des Moines schools facing bus driver shortage heading into fall

Iowa's largest school district is offering lots of incentives to hire drivers for this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa's largest school district is facing a school bus driver shortage heading into the fall semester. 

Nearly half of the 33,000 students enrolled at Des Moines Public Schools rely on school busses to get to class. With school starting next week, DMPS is looking to hire around 50 new drivers. 

The district is providing incentives for drivers, including paid training and assistance in obtaining a commercial driver's license, or CDL. 

"So we pay for you to get your CDL if you don't have one. And then there's also a hiring bonus that comes along with coming and driving for us," said Charles Mercer, the talent and personnel manager for DMPS. "If you have a CDL there's a $5,000 hiring bonus. If you do not have your CDL we will pay for it and there will be a $2,000 hiring bonus to come drive with us."

Drivers can also take advantage of IPERS benefits, a free DART bus pass and have holidays off if hired. 

More information about the job can be found on the DMPS job website. Or if you're in West Des Moines this weekend, the school district is having a hiring event from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Valley West Mall

Watch: DMPS provides free meals to students