BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As school districts across the nation struggle to hire qualified bus drivers, officials around the state say West Virginia students miss time in the classroom.

Greg Betkijan, transportation director for Raleigh County Schools, said on Monday, October 2, 2023, that bus drivers in Raleigh County take on extra routes to pick up students who rely on school buses to get to school each day.

He says those extra trips usually happen in the county’s most populated neighborhoods, all in an effort to get students into their classrooms.

However, all students do not make it to the classroom each day, he added.

“I mean, that happens almost daily,” said Betkijan. “So, we do, there are kids that don’t go to school every single day of the week.”

Fayette County Schools Superintendent Gary Hough had reported in September that Fayette students are also affected by a bus driver shortage.

Betkijan said Raleigh County Schools is actively hiring bus drivers, and he asks qualified applicants to apply by calling 304-256-4569.