Remote learning decision prompts Edmonds School District to lay off 175 bus drivers

The Edmonds School District is laying off bus drivers until schools reopen for in-person learning.

On Friday, 175 of the district’s bus drivers were notified that they will not be returning to their bus routes at the start of the 2020-21 school year. The furloughs — a result of the school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic — are expected to remain in effect until school buildings reopen, according to a statement from the district.

“None of us wanted this to happen, and we know this will be a very challenging time for our dedicated bus drivers,” said district spokesperson Harmony Weinberg. “The district is committed to providing each of them with information and directing them to different resources throughout this difficult time.”

Money was another reason for the furloughs. Transportation funding in the district is based on student ridership and when ridership declines, so do the funds to pay drivers, Weinberg said.

“We are thankful for all of the bus drivers and their service to our students,” she said. “We anxiously look forward to the day, hopefully soon, when our drivers can hit the road once again.”

–By Cody Sexton

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