创纪录的低失业率加上一份通常被视为困难和吃力不讨好的工作，导致几乎全国各地都缺乏公交车司机。一些学区 质疑 公交车司机的背景调查是否会加剧招聘人员来填补这些重要的交通角色的挑战。
例如，在康涅狄格州， 州审计员 12 月的一份报告发现，该州持续对校车司机进行背景调查并不足以确保孩子们的安全。康涅狄格州机动车辆管理局对当前的校车司机进行定期重复背景调查，以发现最近可能影响他们履行工作能力的逮捕、定罪或驾驶违规行为。
审计报告发现，DMV 使用过时的流程和设备，并且对公交车司机的持续监控不够彻底。例如，DMV 目前对公交车司机的背景调查不包括对来自该州儿童和家庭部的虐待和忽视登记处的检查，他们也不会越过州界寻找最近来自康涅狄格州以外的危险信号。
公交车司机背景调查不严的问题不仅影响学校。 纽约市最近的一则新闻报道 探讨了纽约市交通局和全市行政服务部的“拙劣背景调查”如何让记录中有“严重犯罪”的个人获得城市公交车司机的工作。来自 MTA 监察长的调查结果表明，至少有 11 名城市公交车司机能够在不披露强奸和抢劫等犯罪定罪的情况下开始工作。
have questioned whether background checks for bus drivers are contributing to the challenge of hiring people to fill these important transportation roles.
The argument is that background checks and high hiring standards reduce the potential applicant pool by discouraging individuals with criminal records from applying. School districts need to keep their standards for bus drivers high to ensure student safety. The dilemma—loosening standards and accepting safety risks or keeping standards high and potentially thinning the applicant pool—is one of the top challenges that many school districts are facing today.
The issue is not improving. Recent news stories show that, in addition to the hiring concerns that schools are facing, existing background checks for bus drivers are less robust than they should be.
In Connecticut, for instance, a December report from a state auditor found that ongoing background checks for school bus drivers in the state weren’t doing enough to keep kids safe. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles conducts periodic repeat background checks on current school bus drivers to find recent arrests, convictions, or driving infractions that might impact their ability to perform their jobs.
The auditor’s report found that the DMV is using antiquated processes and equipment, and that it is not being thorough enough in its ongoing monitoring of bus drivers. For instance, the DMV’s current background checks for bus drivers do not include checks of abuse and neglect registries from the state’s Department of Children and Families, nor do they look beyond state lines to find recent red flags from outside of Connecticut.
The issue of lax background checks for bus drivers isn’t just impacting schools. A recent news story out of New York City explored how “bungled background checks” from New York City Transit and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services allowed individuals with “serious crimes” on their records to get jobs as city bus drivers. The findings, which come from the MTA Inspector General, indicate that at least 11 city bus drivers were able to start working without disclosing convictions for crimes such as rape and robbery.
The city fired the individuals after background checks flagged the convictions. MTA’s Inspector General has stated that hiring these employees at all was a “risky” move by the city, and that training and onboarding them only to fire them after their background check reports came back was a “costly” blunder.
The report also found that the city was skipping key parts of the background check not pertaining to criminal history. In “nearly 80 percent” of cases, the city did not conduct the proper verifications of education and work history.