CHARLOTTE — The school year is barely over and already Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is looking to hire dozens of positions, including bus drivers.
CMS likes to say that bus drivers are the first person your child will see to start their school day, and currently the district is looking to fill about 70 open positions for next school year.
CMS’s transportation director of safety, Devery Peterson, told Channel 9 they’re getting a head start on hiring because it’s a lengthy process, amplified by COVID.
“It’s been an unusual year,” Peterson said. “But if you love kids, this is the best job to have.”
The pay starts at $15.75 an hour and includes benefits -- and you don’t need experience.
CMS has even taken to social media to get the word out, in hopes that more people will apply.
Peterson and her team are also busy preparing for the start of Camp CMS on Monday. Soon, empty classrooms will be full again for the mandatory summer school required by North Carolina lawmakers.
Its purpose is to help mitigate any learning loss created by the pandemic. The district said 32,000 students enrolled in Camp CMS.
“We’ve been very, very busy getting routes ready, and we’ve been hiring,” Peterson told Channel 9.
While she coordinates transportation, the district needs another 2,000 teachers for those six weeks of in-person classes, including art, music and physical education -- offering up to a $2,500 bonus to entice licensed employees.
CMS is also looking for teaching assistants and food service workers.
Speaking to Channel 9 on Wednesday morning, Peterson underscored the number one requirement to get hired.
“The school bus is an extension of the classroom, so our bus drivers have to love kids,” she said.
In all, CMS is hiring for nearly 3,000 positions district-wide. You can find more information here.
Leroy Wray, the founder and president of the PRODIGAL Son Foundation, which helps students overcome challenges and get ahead, is also looking to hire teachers after enrollment jumped by half with a waiting list.
He has bumped salaries from $25 to $35 an hour to compete for licensed teachers. He needs them just to meet demand.
“There are still a lot parents and families looking for support,” Wray said.
(WATCH BELOW: Meck County votes to withhold $56M from CMS when budget passes)
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