Pros: generous holidays, friendly school staff
Cons: poor leadership in some areas
As a school district, the primary focus of this district is on children, which makes the job of a school bus driver rewarding and refreshing. The overall feel and function of the district is positive, and the general motivation to serve children is shared by most "in the trenches".
Unfortunately, the leadership of the transportation department is more interested in promoting friends and family, and supporting mediocrity, than in providing superior safety and service to their staff and students. Staff who stand up or stand out for something that's not being done correctly or safely are frequently singled out, passive-aggressively harassed, belittled, bullied, forced to resign, or terminated. Those who remain are frequently reminded they can be easily replaced, and turnover is relatively high as a result.
Staff in positions of authority, and union leaders, generally serve their own interests and those of their friends and family, while average drivers and other staff who aren't part of the "in" clique are pushed aside, ignored, and short-changed in order to provide perks for the "in" group.
Due to the largess of the district and lack of direct oversight, the upper leadership of the district turns a blind-eye on these practices and allows the department leaders to operate underground and inefficiently as a result. When staff express concerns to their supervisors, they're told to accept the status quo or move-on. If parents or staff concerns are shared further up the leadership chain, the superintendent and school board just hand the concerns right back to the supervisors and – more... managers the employees sought to address - and the issues are swept under the rug while the affected employee is disciplined for speaking out. The departmental leaders seek to maintain a positive image of themselves at all costs, and issues are dealt with by punishing those who speak out rather than resolving problems and preventing new ones before they start.
Although the district was once a leader in the area and industry, it's declined in recent years due to the strain of poor budgetary times, insufficient oversight, and the watering-down effects of managerial inbreeding. Although the district has sharply reduced its budget through workforce reductions and reduced employee compensation, the effects of waste and ineffective efforts continue to dog the district and drive a decline in employee morale. In 15 years I've seen some of the best staff in the industry become demoralized and succumb to either quitting or avoiding anything that makes waves in order to keep their jobs. Those who wish to advance must do so at the peril of their own positive values, and should expect to be asked to sell their soul in exchange for promotion to the inner circle.
I would recommend this district for the opportunity to work with talented and enthusiastic teachers and students, but would caution a new employee to avoid high expectations and to go in knowing you'll need to keep your head down and trust not your peers or supervisors for fear they'll turn against you if the wind blows that way.
When I retire in a few years, I enjoy the job so much that I look forward to substituting - but in a neighboring district. – less