LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Clark County School District is facing an unprecedented shortage of bus drivers. The district's chief operating officer said they are short approximately 234 drivers.

The shortage means nearly 45 drivers that used to drive for athletics have been switched back to normal school routes.

CCSD has hired charter buses to take teams to road games.

"My daughter says it’s great,” Desert Oasis parent Kimberley Brock said. “The buses are luxurious. The seats are nice. There’s plenty of room."

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Brock said her daughter's varsity soccer team has already taken a charter bus to two games.

After hearing about the charter buses, Brock's first question was where is the funding coming from to do this?

"I wanted to make sure a lot of that money wasn't coming out of the teams budget or the school’s athletic budget,” Brock said. “From what I've heard it’s coming straight from the district."

 In a Facebook Live for CCSD parents, the district’s COO Mike Casey said the charter buses were hired for teams during the week.

In the school district’s newly approved $777 million budget, over $600 million will address pandemic related needs. Transportation is one of the couple dozen spending priorities included in the proposed plan.

"This is not an issue unique to CCSD transportation, its an issue throughout many districts [in the country]," Casey said.

On top of the long wait times for pickups that parents have complained of, at least one middle school notified families there will no longer be a late bus for after school clubs and activities. That starts Monday at O'Callaghan Middle School, however it will not apply to athletics. 

The major drop in the number of drivers started during the pandemic.

Casey said there was essentially a hiring freeze, which made an already depleted fleet even worse. 

"Over that summer period when we do our recruiting and hiring we weren't able to do it," Casey said in the Facebook Live.

The district is actively searching for more drivers. Casey said it takes about two months to complete a hire process. 

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