I've been with Dattco as a school bus driver for almost 2 years with experience at two separate terminals.
Work life balance: being a school bus driver has been great as far as it accommodating my life with me kids and still being able to work. I can have my child on my bus or work with other drivers in assisting me on getting my child to school.
Compensation: seeing as it's a part time it's tough. You move up the money ladder quick. When starting my compensation was 14.70 an hour now with a little more than a year and cost of living boost I'm making 16.75/hr. Now this is great but I am working part time so it's not like I'm working 40hrs a week making that. Although there are many opportunities to make extra money doing work in the yards if it's available and there are also field trips, sports and other school bus charters you can try to sign up for.
Job security: as long as you are safe, on time, responsible, respectful, and can work with children appropriately you should have no trouble maintaining job security. School bus driving is a position that has many vacancies, so if you perform your job at the best of your ability you should not worry about your position. Keep your nose clean, stay out of drama, keep your job strictly professional, take your time driving and you will be fine.
Advancement: as far as moving up the ladder as far as chain of command it's a slim chance. Usually a terminal is a dispatcher, terminal supervisor and drivers so there isn't much in that sense. Sometimes it happens you never know. There are sometimes positions posted to move motorcoach buses and driver trainer positions. As far as seniority it's helpful when it comes to charters and bidding for a route at the beginning of the year but sometimes the seniority list is long.
Management: it's give or take at different terminals. Just at the end of the day I'd suggest do your job, be professional, take your time, don't get involved in office politics, keep to yourself, be courteous, and manage the children as professionally as you can [trust me I know it's hard].
Job culture: my current terminal is kind of family oriented. Everyone is nice, helpful, kind, and we have a nice community. Not all terminals are like that so I'm very lucky. Although when I visit my old terminal everyone is friendly and happy to see me so makes me feel good about my job. There can be some drama but that's at any job. The kids are difficult but endearing. Sometimes on my most difficult days some of my kids make me feel better and I start feeling protective and learn to care for them. I never thought that working with children was something for me. I was scared and intimidated at first but you know with time you learn what works and what doesn't. Then you grow a rapport and respect with the kids with time and it gets easier.