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Maryland School District calls on National Guard to replace sick bus drivers

More than 40 school bus routes were canceled on Wednesday.

One of Maryland’s largest school districts is calling for help at the highest level to address the bus driver shortage caused by the omicron surge.

Montgomery County Public Schools have asked county officials to urge the state to deploy the National Guard and have them drive school buses in the district.

Staff shortages on Wednesday resulted in the cancellation of 40 to 80 routes, according to Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Chris Cram.

The school system serves over 162,000 students and includes 1,400 buses.

Cram told ABC News the state did not respond to the school district’s request on Wednesday evening.

The Montgomery County request is part of extraordinary steps school districts are taking to address staff shortages caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Board of Education passed a measure to change the conditions for hiring substitute teachers.

Anyone over the age of 18 who has a high school diploma and passes a background check can apply to be a substitute teacher. The new regulations will remain in effect until June, officials said.

School districts in Palo Alto, Calif., And Hays County, Texas, have also reached out to parents to help fill shortages caused by substitute teachers and other sick staff.

ABC News

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