Indiana’s largest school district cancelled bus service Friday after too many drivers called in sick in an apparent labor dispute.
Indianapolis Public Schools said schools remained open, but students who are unable to get to them because of no buses would not be marked absent.
The district announced on Twitter just after 6 a.m.: “Due to driver call offs we are unable to run our regular school bus routes in a safe and efficient manner today.”
IPS board member Diane Arnold told WTHR-TV, “We need bus drivers. This is hurting children and it hurts our most vulnerable families.”
Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and other district leaders were meeting with representatives from the bus drivers’ union Friday morning to resolve the situation, district spokeswoman Carrie Cline Black told The Indianapolis Star.
IPS announced Jan. 30 it would not to renew a contract with bus vendor Durham School Services that expires June 30 in a cost-cutting move. Durham covers about two-thirds of the district’s routes, and IPS covers the rest itself. A new vendor will take over all IPS routes.
Durham said in a notice to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development the closure of two Indianapolis facilities will cost more than 500 jobs, including those of 218 drivers and 243 bus assistants.