CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) — Delegate Christopher Toney, R-Raleigh, a 14-year employee of Raleigh County and currently a school bus operator, is hopeful a proposal he spearheaded in the House of Delegates will help alleviate the state’s need for more drivers like himself.
Toney was the lead sponsor of House Bill 2267, which passed the full House of Delegates in a unanimous vote March 1.
“One of the best things about the West Virginia Legislature is that it’s a part-time citizen Legislature, and we all bring our own expertise to Charleston to help improve things throughout the state,” Toney said. “I’ve seen firsthand some of the barriers to growing our substitute bus operator pool, and I’m proud to have helped lead us to a possible solution.”
House Bill 2267, which now goes to the Senate for its consideration, would create the Bus Operator in Residence program.
The program would help empower counties with more options and opportunities for attracting candidates to become school bus operators. Toney said this would help counties fill their funnels for potential drivers by authorizing County Boards of Education to establish recruitment and training programs for prospective bus operators at the county’s expense. Counties would create a policy to stipulate how the candidates are to be paid and how the program would be laid out, with an unpaid training course of eight to 12 weeks.