Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has activated the National Guard to take children to school amid a massive shortage of bus drivers.
Up to 250 Guard troops were activated this week to fill the shortage.
“The Governor’s order makes up to 250 personnel available. Beginning with training on Tuesday, 90 Guard members will prepare for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn,” the governor’s office announced in a statement on Monday. “These Guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans known as 7D vehicles to address staffing shortages in certain districts.”
The statement added that “as with any school transportation worker, all activated Guard personnel will complete vehicle training to ensure the safety of children and families. Drivers will meet all statutory requirements for 7D drivers. Throughout the mission, the Guard will comply with all health and safety measures.”
The statement said that the “mission” to get kids to will not interfere with the Guard’s ability to respond to and assist in emergencies within the Commonwealth.
The safe and reliable transportation to school each day is critical to our children’s safety and education.
Today, I activated up to 250 members of @TheNationsFirst to support and assist local communities in their school transportation efforts.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) September 13, 2021
On Monday, Baker tweeted that “The safe and reliable transportation to school each day is critical to our children’s safety and education.”