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Pasco County schools are changing their start times to address a bus driver shortage

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Pasco County Schools
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The start times for Pasco County schools will be changing in an effort to address a bus driver shortage. The Pasco County School Board voted Tuesday to change the school start times in an effort to address a bus driver shortage.

Some students will start school as early as 7:10 a.m. under the new four-tier bell system.

The start times for Pasco County schools will be changing in an effort to address a bus driver shortage.

The Pasco County School Board voted Tuesday to set up a four-tier bell system, instead of the three that's currently in place.

Under the current system, schools open at 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Under the new four-tier system, schools will open every hour starting at 7:10 a.m.

School Superintendent Kurt Browning said the solution was not ideal, but the only way to ensure that students aren't late for class.

"There's nobody in this district that likes this plan, including the superintendent," Browning said. "I don't like it, I don't like anything about it, but I will tell you I equally — probably moreso — dislike having kids miss instructional time before great teachers that we have in this district."

The changes start in January and will be in effect until the end of the school year.

The board will attempt to recruit more drivers and revisit the start times in May, Browning said. It will then determine whether the changes will remain in effect for the next school year.

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