WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — School bus routes stopped running in Wake County Friday morning as many drivers protested over working conditions, leaving parents scrambling to get children to school. 

Wake County Public School leaders advised parents to make alternate plans to get their children to and from school Friday.

“Many of the school district's bus routes are not running this morning. We apologize for the inconvenience,” district leaders said in an email to parents.

Parents can check bus routes at wcpss.net.

“You will need to provide transportation this morning and make plans for this afternoon if the route is not covered,” district leaders said.

Spectrum News 1 received reports of students heading back home from their bus stops after buses didn’t arrive.

Bus drivers across the state say they need to be paid more. Part of the reason, they say, is because of the additional routes they’ve picked up due to staffing shortages. Wake County School leaders say they sympathize with the concerns and are advocating for more state and local funding for bus drivers.

School districts nationwide are struggling to find qualified and willing bus drivers. Wake County, one of many districts giving financial incentives to make the job more attractive, offered a $1,200 bonus for drivers signing up this year.

School leaders advise parents to check school web sites for updates.