HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rio Grande Valley school districts are still dealing with staffing shortages

Now state lawmakers are pushing for incentives to address the issue. 

Brownsville ISD Assistant Superintendent, Carmelita Rodriguez said there are several vacancies within their district.

“We do have a shortage of Special Education teachers, we are still in need of substitutes and hiring substitutes every day,” she said. 

According to Rodriguez, the pandemic has been a challenge for BISD, especially after the holidays. 

“We have people leaving in a daily basis, but I believe we have a great plan in place and we are prepared, we’ve been prepared,” she said.

State Representative Terry Canales said the need for bus drivers is a statewide issue.

“I’ve heard from educators and parents that labor shortages, particularly of bus drivers, are a roadblock to keeping kids in schools,” he said. 

Canales along with Senate Transportation Chairman, Robert Nichols, have sponsored a resolution for a CDL waiver that does not require a medical certificate. 

“This announcement gives our local school districts the flexibility they need to help increase the pool of drivers, who are a key part of the school community, and get kids to school safely each day where students learn best,” he said.

According to Rodriguez, Brownsville ISD has been working to hire bus drivers but families should be vocal if transportation is a struggle. 

“The best thing to do is call their school and ask the administrators, is there a bus route in my area?” she said. “If not, let’s see what we can do to get them to school.”

According to Rodriguez, they are planning to host a job fair in a couple of months for various positions. 

Meanwhile, people are encouraged to apply to current available BISD employee positions or call the BISD Human Resources Department at 956-548-8051.