ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Rome City School District is transitioning students in Grades K through 12 to remote learning staring October 1. The shift comes after the district has saw a significant increase of bus drivers testing positive for COVID-19.
As a result, there is not enough drivers to transport students to school for in-person instruction until Tuesday, October 12th. The Utica City School District is also facing similar hardships. County Executive Anthony Picente is asking Governor Kathy Hochul for emergency assistance from New York State to keep schools open in Oneida County.
He fears that without action from the state the bus driver shortage will only get worse throughout the fall and winter months and hopes that Hochul will take immediate action in finding a solution to alleviate the crisis.
“We should visit the national guard to come in where other places have done that in which we need that kind of help to drive; to drive those buses and get kids to school. Our children have suffered for the last two years now, intellectually emotionally socially. We can’t keep putting them out remotely or other way of changing the hours of school. Working families are suffering when you put kids back into the remote setting, it sends a ripple effect through parents that now can’t get to work and have to make other arrangements. It truly is, you know, a crisis. We need to handle this now.” – Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente