CARTHAGE, Mo. — Discussed at tonight’s (Monday) meeting – pay and benefits for school bus drivers.

In an effort to boost retention and recruitment during a driver shortage, the Carthage School Board passed a new plan for bus drivers who are new to the district.

This plan has drivers paid at an hourly rate beginning at $18.75 an hour and includes benefits like a retirement plan and health insurance.

Drivers also now have an adjustment to their pay depending on if they’re working a regular “pick-up and drop-off” route or a field trip with varying hours.

“I think it’s just harder and harder for individuals to be able to find and obtain affordable health insurance, so it’s a nice benefit for new drivers to have. I think it’s something that they’re looking for. We’re hoping it will recruit drivers,” said Dr. Luke Boyer, Carthage Schools Superintendent.

At the next meeting, board members will look at the plan to retain current bus drivers.

Also passed this evening was approval for a high school girls’ wrestling team.