ROANOKE CO., Va. -

Last month, the School Board announced it would cut benefits for people it defined as part-time employees.

The next day, at least 35 drivers called in sick after completing their morning routes, forcing the school system to dismiss school early and forcing parents to pick up kids.

The school board held its first public meeting since then tonight.

Further discussion of the situation wasn't on the agenda, but people still had plenty to say.

Last night, we reported at least 45 drivers have decided to quit or retire, and it's possible that at least two dozen more could follow.

Now, the focus in Roanoke County turns to how to keep as many drivers as possible and how to fill the void left by those who won't return.

During the public comments section at tonight's Roanoke County School Board Meeting, the podium became a pulpit; drivers and parents are still upset.

For now, the decision to define bus drivers, cafeteria workers and nurses as part-time and cut their benefits is still the plan.

It's the plan all the school board members are regretfully sticking with, budgets are too tight.

"We have been facing financial stress for 5 or 6 years and we have talking. All along that all the easy decisions have been made and when you've had the reductions in revenues that we have had for a number of years, we're impacting people now," said School Board Chairman Drew Barrineau.

Some bus drivers don't necessarily side with the School Board, but understand the decision it made.

Now, the focus turns to retaining the drivers who have said they will retire.

"There might be some options for healthcare that people need to consider before they maybe look at leaving," said Rebecca Eastwood with Roanoke County.  Eastwood said the County was recently made aware of some possibilities to enroll some of the drivers in a healthcare exchange through the Affordable Care Act.

It's Roanoke County's goal right now to assist every driver in possibly enrolling if it's right for them.

The county also knows it'll have to hire new drivers.  The county almost always had more room for bus drivers as it is.  It'll hold a job fair next month to try and fill the void left by all the employees that will retire.