Q. What are the transportation requirements that a district must meet?
Education Law requires that non-city school districts provide transportation for all children in grades K-8 who live more than two miles from the school they legally attend and for all children in grades 9-12 who live more than three miles from the school they legally attend, up to a distance of 15 miles. While city school districts are not required to furnish transportation, except for pupils with disabilities, city districts which choose to do so must provide transportation on an equitable basis and within similar mileage limits to children attending both public and nonpublic schools. Transportation for a distance of less than two miles for children in grades K-8 or of less than three miles for children in grades 9-12 and for a distance greater than 15 miles may be provided by the district and, if provided, must be offered equally to all children in like circumstances residing in the district. Transportation for distances outside the mandated limits must be approved by the voters of the district. If the voters approve transportation outside the mandated limits, the transportation of pupils who live more than one and one-half miles from school is eligible for Transportation Aid regardless of how great the distance may be.
All districts must provide transportation for all pupils with disabilities residing in the district for whom such services are specified in the Individual Education Plan (IEP). There are no minimum or maximum mileage limitations on transportation of pupils with disabilities as specified in the IEP.
For common school districts, the cost of transporting regular pupils attending grades K-6 in both public and nonpublic schools is not an approved expenditure eligible for aid. If a common school district maintains grades 7-8, the cost of transporting pupils attending those grades is also not an approved expenditure eligible for aid.
The cost of transporting regular pupils to a public school outside the district of residence is not eligible for aid if the pupils are attending grades maintained by the district of residence.
A district operating on a contingency budget must continue to transport students to and from the regular school program in accordance with the mileage limitations previously adopted by the voters. Such mileage limits shall change only when amended by a special proposition passed by the voters. Also, athletic and field trip transportation may be continued since such transportation is an ordinary contingent expense.
Transportation expenditures eligible for Transportation Aid are those made in transporting allowable pupils to and from school once daily, to and from Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), to and from approved shared programs in other school districts, and to and from occupational education programs operated within the district. Expenditures for operating district-owned buses, contract buses, and public service carriers may be included.