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Ferndale School District bus (March 8, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

Updated: Ferndale School District bus drivers temporarily laid off

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Ferndale School District announced today 43 district school bus drivers had been notified they would be laid off effective September 1st.

District Superintendent Linda Quinn is quoted in the district announcement, “The reality is that we just don’t have students to transport so we don’t have work for our bus drivers. I want our staff and community to know that we see these as temporary layoffs.”

Ferndale schools are opening this fall with 100% distance learning due to health safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, students are not needing to be transported to and from school buildings.

The announcement noted funding to pay transportation department personnel, including bus drivers, comes from the state and had continued after school buildings were closed last March.

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School districts receive funding based on ridership — a function of the number of miles driven and the number of students transported. Last spring, the State made an exception and continued to pay for drivers even if they were doing other work. That exception no longer exists.

Ferndale School District media advisory – August 26,, 2020

The announcement said the district will “reassess the transportation plan regularly to determine when drivers will be able to return to their routes.”

8/26/20 9:40pm – This story was updated with the number of drivers laid off.

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