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Aspiring Michigan school bus drivers can now take online course to meet federal regulations

Back of a school bus

Michigan school district officials hope a new online training course for bus drivers will help them comply with federal regulations—and ease a driver shortage.

Wayne County’s intermediate school district, Wayne RESA, helped develop the course. It allows school bus drivers-in-training to take a theory portion of entry-level driver’s training fully online. That’s required for all new school bus drivers by federal law as of this week. School bus drivers must also do behind-the-wheel training and take a road skills test to get their commercial driver’s license with the proper certifications, a process that usually takes about a month.

Michael Latvis, senior executive director of legislative affairs with Wayne RESA, said school bus drivers training in Michigan can take the course from anywhere, anytime.

“They will receive a, essentially a passcode, that they can plug into our website and go on and take the course,” Latvis said. “So you can take it up in Marquette, you can take it in Detroit, you can take it in Grand Rapids.”

“The great thing about this is that school districts throughout the state now don’t have to worry about creating their own training program to satisfy this federal requirement.”

Latvis said the course also automatically reports results to the federal government.

Wayne RESA estimates that there are about 5,000 open school bus driver positions in Michigan right now.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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