MARION, Ark.– The nation’s severe school bus driver shortage is causing problems for one Arkansas school district.

Less than two months into the school year, Marion School District is pushing to get more drivers behind the wheel.

Officials say they’re down at least a dozen bus drivers, which is having a serious impact on route times. The school district shared a post on social media Monday alerting parents to expect delayed drop-off times for the day due to a driver shortage.

It’s a service nearly 1,800 students and their parents depend on.

“By me and my husband working, us having one vehicle at the moment that would be hard for us to get them there,” said Kendra Mitchell, parent of a Marion student.

Dusty Duncan, the district’s Assistant Superintendent, said the district has 44 routes and only around 28 drivers.

“We could hire 12 drivers tomorrow and keep them busy,” Duncan said.

This means many drivers pull double duty with two routes resulting in earlier wake-up times.

“We’re picking them up earlier than we would like to. That’s a difficulty on our parents,” Duncan said. “The administration needs to arrive earlier to receive students. Some of our students arrive to school at 7 o’clock in the morning. Classes will not start until closer to 8 o’clock.”

As for the ride home, he said some students may have to wait over an hour after dismissal for their bus.

Now on a mission to recruit new drivers, Duncan said the job pays $21.69 cents an hour. The district plans to offer an incentive package that includes a $1,000 signing bonus, paid training, and for new and current driver’s attendance and accident-free bonuses.

“I wish I could say in six months we won’t have a problem. We’re hoping that this incentive package helps,” Duncan said.

It’s help parents like Kyia Buckingham say is needed.

“It’s just very hard. It’s stressful on everybody,” Buckingham said.

We’re told that the school board will have to sign off on the incentive package.

Being a bus driver does require a CDL.

Marion School District is offering tours of the buses for anyone interested.

For more information about the job and to apply, click here.