(WHTM) — Last school year, there were not enough school bus drivers. This year, some school districts are dealing with the same problem.

Staffing for bus drivers varies quite a lot by school district and company. Some school districts are fully staffed, but others are just scraping by and are worried about the future

“I shouldn’t say it’s to the breaking point, but it’s not getting any better,” Mifflin County School District transportation coordinator Joshua Pennepacker said.

Mifflin County is about two weeks away from the first day of school and its buses are packed.

“A lot of our buses are pushing 60, 65 students,” Pennepacker said, explaining most buses can fit 72. “I’ve spent all of summer break, just fine-tuning bus routes, adding students.”

Mifflin County contracts with several different companies for busing, and they are still dealing with a driver shortage.

“Bus drivers are retiring, quitting, and there’s not many people applying to be a bus driver, so we’ve had to combine a bunch of runs,” Pennepacker said.

Pennepacker said right now, all routes are covered.

“But I don’t think they have extra drivers for if somebody will call off, somebody’s off sick,” he said.

The bigger issue, though, is finding drivers for field trips and sports. Teachers and coaches are picking up the slack.

“They teach during the day and then drive an evening for sports,” Pennepacker said.

This is not the case for everyone.

“The further out from the pandemic we get, the better our staffing levels are,” Rohrer Bus HR manager Kristen McGaffin said.

Rohrer serves 10 Midstate districts. McGaffin said some are fully staffed.

“The best start to the year we’ve had since the pandemic,” she said.

McGaffin said Rohrer is seeing some seeing people leave, so they are always hiring, particularly, like Mifflin County, for those field trips.

“Some of those games are on Saturdays, sometimes it’s taking all of 6th grade to visit Washington DC,” she said.

Unlike Mifflin County, however, Rohrer has a cushion.

“We have a great team that can help step in,” McGaffin said.

Pennepacker, on the other hand, said, “We have sent letters out to parents from the school district, basically seeing if any parents want to drive.”

Pennepacker said there are a few reasons people may not want to be bus drivers: low pay, training is time-consuming, and it is hard to work another job and drive. All bus companies can do, he said, is keep advertising and hiring as quickly as possible.