(The Center Square) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has mobilized the National Guard in an effort to help distressed school systems with transportation issues, he announced this week.
Up to 250 Massachusetts National Guard personnel were made available under the governor’s order in response to requests from communities in the state, the governor said in a news release.
“The safe and reliable transportation to school each day is critical to our children’s safety and education,” the governor said in a Monday tweet. “Today, I activated up to 250 members to support and assist local communities in their school transportation efforts.”
The safe and reliable transportation to school each day is critical to our children's safety and education.Today, I activated up to 250 members of @TheNationsFirst to support and assist local communities in their school transportation efforts.➡️ https://t.co/pt5pmqjWcd pic.twitter.com/C1Xxi7eOYF— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) September 13, 2021
In the release, Baker said the “guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans known as 7D vehicles to address staffing shortages in certain districts.”
Baker went on to say that “activated Guard personnel will complete vehicle training” as with any school driver “to ensure the safety of children and families.”
According to the release, Baker said drivers will “meet all statutory requirements for 7D drivers” as they comply with all safety and health measures.
Baker said the utilization of National Guard members will not interfere with the organization’s “ability to respond to and assist in emergencies within the Commonwealth.”
National Guard members, the release reads, train with military, law enforcement and civilian groups “to provide a broad spectrum of services in support of security, logistics, disaster relief and other missions.”