TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — One of Alabama's school systems is so short of bus drivers that it's trying to lure new drivers with financial incentives.

WBRC-TV reports that Tuscaloosa City Schools is offering a $1,000 signing bonus; increased pay for substitute and field trip driving; and bonuses for attendance, safe driving records and recruitment of other drivers.

The school system's transportation director Ron Schappacher also touted the benefits offered to bus drivers. He says while driving a school bus is part-time work, the drivers are eligible for the benefits given to full-time workers, such as health insurance and a pension plan.

Schappacher says Tuscaloosa's need for more school bus drivers follows a national trend. He cited declining unemployment as one of the reasons.

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Information from: WBRC-TV, http://www.myfoxal.com/