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The exterior of south Columbia's John Warner Middle School, which is CPS' 7th middle school (2021 file photo courtesy of CPS' Michelle Baumstark)

Columbia’s school board boosts pay for bus drivers; continues mask requirement

Noting that there’s a shortage of school bus drivers, Columbia’s school board has voted to increase pay for bus drivers by $2 per hour for full-time drivers.

CPS contracts bus driving to STA, and bus drivers start at $16.25 per hour. The district and Columbia’s school board say the increase will help retain their current drivers and to recruit new ones.

CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark tells ABC-17 News the district is down between seven and 15 drivers daily.

Meantime, Columbia Public Schools students and staff will continue to be required to wear masks indoors and on buses, after the school board voted to extend CPS’ coronavirus plan. The board voted Monday night to extend the plan, which includes a mask requirement.

The district has said its mask decision is based on recommendations from local, state and national experts, including the CDC.

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