TEEX is offering tuition assistance to school districts so they can send their school transportation trainers to comprehensive, behind-the-wheel school bus driver safety training.
This is another way TEEX is working to make school bus transportation as safe as possible for the 1.4 million children who ride school buses in Texas, said Scott Hurst, program manager of the Pupil and Public Transportation Training Program of Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Training Institute.
The state tuition assistance fund will allow more Texas school districts to send their school transportation trainers to the TEEX Texas School Bus Driver Instructor (Train-the-Trainer) Training School, Hurst added. The intensive, 30-hour course is designed to provide consistency in behind-the-wheel bus driver training and to supplement the state-mandated 20 hours of bus driver training required for certification of new drivers.
Participants learn and practice precision turning movement, parallel parking, backing up and emergency tactics along with teaching techniques and lesson plan development.
Over the next few months, school districts and contractors will be able to register for the TEEX train-the trainer course for just $100 per person — a savings of $435 in tuition. Classes are scheduled for Bryan, Lubbock, El Paso, Austin and Garland over the next few months.
Not only will participants receive the training at a significant savings, Hurst said, but they also receive an extra day of training. An additional eight-hour course in Child Passenger Safety Training for School Buses has been added to the original curriculum because of recent guidelines issued by the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Hurst said. These guidelines call for preschool-age children to be transported in a properly secured child safety restraint system.
Participants completing the training courses receive a certificate from TEEX and the Department of Public Safety. Successful completion satisfies one of the requirements to be certified as a pupil transportation trainer by the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation, Hurst added.
Since 1995, more than 900 school transportation trainers have completed the TEEX school bus driver train-the-trainer school.