KILLEEN, Texas – For the past 13 years, Monica Cooley has been a bus driver with the Killeen Independent School District – earning numerous awards and certificates.
“It’s something different everyday, because I drive a special needs bus,” said Cooley.
Since March, her life has been at a standstill after COVID-19 prompted schools to close and caused uncertainty.
“And the reason it was so agitated, was not knowing,” she added.
Due to school being closed, Cooley’s full-time salary has been cut in half.
“It’s like, by the time I get my check and they take taxes out, maybe I’m making $1,300 a month. And we get paid once a month. That’s not a lot of money,” the 54-year-old continued.
During the summer, drivers earn more by fueling, washing and repairing buses. Since summer school is also on hiatus, the extra income is gone.
To make ends meet, the bus driver took on second jobs working as a cleaner and as a delivery driver for Doordash.
“You do what you have to do to keep your money coming in,” Cooley said.
During the interview, Cooley said she would like more communication from Killeen ISD, but understands the unfortunate circumstances.
“I guess they can’t give us something. They have no idea. I know it’s hard for them, but it’s also hard for us,” Cooley added.
Killeen ISD says additional plans on returning will be announced Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. during its school board meeting.