WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Beaufort County Schools is rewarding its bus drivers with pay increases for the 2023-24 school year.

The county’s superintendent and the boards of education and commissioners approved a $5 per hour pay raise. That means drivers are now making just more than $20 an hour.

That rate is higher than the state average. School district officials said this is helping them not only find but keep drivers.

“We’re fully staffed for the first time in a long time with drivers,” said Beaufort County Schools Transportation Director Jeffery Miller. “Since we’ve got that done with the pay scale, we’ve hired probably 12 people during that time. we’re proud and excited for what the future holds for our bus-driving team.”

School district leaders say bus drivers are critical in getting students to and from school. So they are glad to offer this incentive for them.