Emergency Purchase of Replacement Bus Due to Loss

Q. What do I have to do if I need to make an emergency bus purchase?

A procedure for purchasing replacement school buses was enacted into law through Chapter 818 of the Laws of 1982. This law amended paragraph (a) of subdivision (25) of Section 1709 of the Education Law as follows:

  • Education Law Section 1709. Powers and duties of boards of education. The said board of education of every union free school district shall have power, and it shall be its duty:

  • Subdivision 25(a) "To purchase and maintain, when authorized by a vote of the qualified voters of the school district, a motor vehicle or vehicles to be used for the transportation of the school children of the district. Any replacement of a motor vehicle or vehicles, necessitated by damage to or loss of such vehicles, owned by the school district and used for the transportation of pupils residing within the district, may be purchased by the board of education without voter approval, using any unencumbered funds in the general fund or by the issuance of budget notes in accordance with section 29.00 of the local finance law, in addition to any available insurance proceeds.

Chapter 818 removes the requirement of voter authorization for the purchase of a school bus which is a replacement for another vehicle which has been damaged beyond repair or unexpectedly removed from service as stipulated in the law. Such vehicle must require replacement under emergency conditions, which shall include but not be limited to, damage by accident or fire, theft, or vandalism. Vehicles that simply do not pass a NYS DOT inspection any longer, are not eligible for Chapter 818 replacement. Chapter 818 does not, however, alter the authority of the Commissioner of Education to approve the purchase of a school bus.

School districts should submit, on district letterhead, a request for approval of the emergency replacement, including the reason or justification for the replacement, and the bus number being replaced, along with a copy of the Board resolution indicating the Board's vote authorizing the replacement of said bus or buses. Requests should be submitted to:

New York State Education Department
State Aid Transportation Unit
Education Building Room 507W
Albany NY 12234

Additionally, an SA-16 (Application for Approval of Bus Purchase) form must be submitted to the SED in order receive aid on the approved purchase. The SA-16 should be submitted to the SED when the district takes delivery of the bus.

Last Updated: May 3, 2017