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Some Edmonds students may lose bus service due to driver shortage from COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The Edmonds School District is anticipating losing between one and 22 bus drivers due to a state mandate that all education employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Bus service may stop for some students in the Edmonds School District due to a possible driver shortage.

The school district is anticipating losing between one and 22 drivers who aren't complying with the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to an email sent to parents.

All education employees are required to show proof of vaccination or obtain a medical or religious exemption by Oct. 18. Those who have not will lose their jobs.

The Edmonds School District is prioritizing service for schools with more students who are economically disadvantaged. Buses with fewer students will be moved to areas with a higher number of riders. Middle and high schools that have more access to public transportation may have buses eliminated in order to transport students with little to no public transit options, according to the email.

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Families who rely on bus service to get their students to school are asked to prepare alternate transportation plans. The district is planning to send additional communication early next week to families who will lose their bussing.

If the district loses between 16 and 22 drivers, Meadowdale Middle School stands to lose five of 10 buses, Mountlake Terrace High School and Brier Terrace Middle School will lose four buses, and several other schools could lose between one and three buses.

The district said it is actively working to recruit and train more school bus drivers and hopes to bring back district-provided transportation as quickly as possible.

People interested in applying for jobs at the Edmonds School District can visit the district's website.