Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman issued the following statement regarding the announcement made by Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell:
“Today’s announcements from Dr. Bedell show significant progress in providing our children with the transportation they need to get to school every day. When I met with Dr. Bedell last week, we discussed the need for outside-the-box thinking to address this issue, and I appreciate how aggressively he and his team are proposing and implementing new solutions to these challenges.
“I want to thank the six councilmembers ― Sarah Lacey, Allison Pickard, Nathan Volke, Andrew Pruski, Amanda Fiedler and Lisa Rodvien ― who voted to support our families and children by providing AACPS with the resources they need to address the continued national and regional shortage of drivers. I look forward to continued collaboration with Dr. Bedell and his team as they implement this plan.”
Last year, Pittman worked with school bus contractors, the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp. and AACPS to provide a market-based solution to a market-based problem: the national and regional shortage of CDL drivers. The $5.6 million in fiscal 2023 funding enabled new drivers recruitment and retention bonuses and the AAWDC provided training for people looking to become CDL drivers.
Pittman’s fiscal 2023 budget ensured that AACPS had the funding they needed to pay competitive wages to protect against losing drivers to surrounding jurisdictions or to private companies like Amazon.