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Dysart Boosts Bus Driver Pay, Adds Referral Bonus


The Dysart Unified School District made a significant increase in bus driver pay, and added an employee referral bonus in an effort to hire and retain hard-to-fill positions. 

The starting pay for a Dysart bus driver increased from $16.81 an hour to a tiered pay scale that starts at $20.00 an hour for those with zero to three years of experience. The rate increases to $21.00 for four to six years of experience, $22.00 for seven to ten years of experience and $23.00 for ten or more years of experience. These rates are one of the highest in the Valley.

Additionally, an Employee Referral Program was approved that incentivizes current employees to recruit new staff members to any position in Dysart. The program pays current employees $500 for recommending new employees that are hired and maintain their employment.

“Staffing is a critical component in operating our schools efficiently and providing our families with an extraordinary experience,” said Dr. John Croteau, Assistant Superintendent for Human Relations. “The impact of a bus driver on the school experience should not go unnoticed, as they are often the first and last person a student sees each day. Their interactions and friendly faces can make such a difference.”

Currently, Dysart has 106 bus driver positions, with 18 of them currently unfilled. The driver shortage is a nationwide problem that has been further magnified since the COVID pandemic began. When there aren’t enough drivers to cover all routes, buses must do turnaround runs, which can impact a students’ ability to get to school on time. Shortages also impact the availability of transportation for field trips and off campus athletic competitions. 

The Dysart Governing Board approved the new bus driver compensation package and employee referral program at the September 22 board meeting, and they will go into effect on October 4, 2021.  All current employees in the roles will receive pay that is commensurate with their years of service in the district, and new employees will be placed at the hourly rate of the tier corresponding to their years of experience in a similar position. Positions impacted include bus drivers, dispatchers, routers, trainers, safety training specialists and transportation technicians.

Benefits of being a Dysart Schools bus driver include full medical benefits, state retirement, holidays, weekends and summers off, and the ability to select additional shifts, when available. Drivers receive paid CDL training at their full hourly rate. The Dysart Unified School District employs nearly 3,000 staff members at 26 schools and two support facilities. Positions range from teachers, to office workers, bus drivers and maintenance staff. High need areas in addition to bus drivers include bus, preschool and classroom aides (paraprofessionals), crossing guards, instructional assistants, and substitute teachers. All current Dysart job openings may be viewed at

Media inquiries should be directed to or 623-876-7196.

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