CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Public School System said there are 17 bus routes without a driver right now, and as many as 2,000 students will be affected by the shortage.
The effects will be felt across all grade levels.
ABC11 has learned that priority will be given to elementary school students for bus transportation.
The Wake County Board of Education discussed the issue at its Tuesday night meeting.
To compound the problem, WCPSS said there are no substitutes to help fill the gap.
Parents did receive a warning that transportation would be an issue this academic year. They were asked to volunteer to take their children to and from schools.
About 100 parents signed up to take on the task.
The shortage affects about 3% of the total number of Wake's routes.
"This year, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed," said Kristin Long, a Wake County parent. "I get out at 4:15-4:30 (p.m.) so worst comes to worst, they're just stuck at school a little bit longer, and we got some good neighbors that'll help us out in a pinch."
A school board member called this situation "unacceptable."
The district said it is working with recruiters and holding job fairs to hopefully fill the spots.