Student Transportation School Transportation Unit Charter School Transportation

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Student Transportation School Transportation Unit Charter School Transportation: Danny Sanchez, Tel: (512) 463 -9266

Student Transportation School Transportation Unit Charter School Transportation: Danny Sanchez, Tel: (512) 463 -9266 Email: [email protected] state. tx. us School Transportation Funding Web Page: http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/index 2. aspx? id=2147484107&menu_id=645 1

Student Transportation § Student transportation that must be provided: § Student transportation is required

Student Transportation § Student transportation that must be provided: § Student transportation is required to be provided only if it is determined to be necessary for a student classified as special needs in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and if the requirement to provide special transportation is documented in the student’s individualized education program (IEP) by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee. § Special needs/education students not requiring special transportation are treated the same as regular education students for transportation purposes. § All non-special needs student transportation provided is based on local school board policy. 2

Student Transportation § Statutory requirements when student transportation is provided: TEC, Chapter 34 All

Student Transportation § Statutory requirements when student transportation is provided: TEC, Chapter 34 All vehicles and drivers must meet the requirements established by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Authorized Vehicles: 1. Route Use: Only school buses and passenger cars may be used. a. School bus: designed to accommodate more than 10 passengers. School buses must be used to transport students to and from schools on routes having more than 10 students. b. Passenger cars may be used on routes having fewer than 10 students. A passenger car is a vehicle designed to accommodate 10 or fewer passengers including the driver. NOTE: A minivan that meets the number of occupants criteria is classified as a passenger car. 3

Student Transportation Authorized Vehicles (cont. ): 2. School Activities: The following requirements apply to

Student Transportation Authorized Vehicles (cont. ): 2. School Activities: The following requirements apply to student transportation for school activities: a. 15 or more students: - School buses - Motor buses b. Fewer than 15 students: - School buses - Motor buses - Passenger cars (10 or fewer passengers including the driver) - Passenger vans (11– 15 passengers including the driver) NOTE: Passenger vans (capacity when built new of 11 or more including the driver) may be used ONLY to transport students to and from school activities. These types of vehicles meet the definition of a bus, but they do not meet the requirements for a school bus. They cannot be used on routes transporting students to and from school. 4

Student Transportation School Bus Drivers: 1. Drivers of school buses with a manufacturer-rated capacity

Student Transportation School Bus Drivers: 1. Drivers of school buses with a manufacturer-rated capacity of more than 15 must have a Texas commercial driver’s license with a Passenger (P) endorsement and a School Bus (S) endorsement. 2. All school bus drivers must be certified as a school bus driver by the DPS. The school bus driver certification course is taught by the education service centers on behalf of DPS. A bus may not be driven with students on board unless the driver is properly certified. 3. School bus drivers must also have criminal history background checks, driving record checks, and physical examinations. Direct questions about school bus safety standards and school bus driver requirements to the Texas DPS School Bus Transportation office: • • Telephone: Website: (512) 424 -7396 http: //www. txdps. state. tx. us/schoolbus/ 5

Student Transportation § Contracting of Student Transportation: School districts and charter schools may contract

Student Transportation § Contracting of Student Transportation: School districts and charter schools may contract to provide student transportation (TEC, § 34. 008). School boards may contract with: - A mass transit authority - A commercial transportation company - A juvenile board Ø Your district/charter school remains responsible for ensuring all requirements are met if it contracts transportation. A commercial contractor must be registered with and approved by the Texas Department of Transportation (Tx. DOT) Motor Carrier Division as a commercial contractor authorized to transport passengers. Ø School buses operated by a commercial contractor that have a capacity of more than 15 passengers are classified as commercial vehicles. A contractor (motor carrier) that operates school buses with a seating capacity of 16 passengers or more (including the driver) is required by the Texas Transportation Code to have/show proof of required liability insurance. It is the district’s/charter school’s responsibility to ensure the contractor meets and continues to meet the requirement to register and have liability insurance while under contract with the district/charter school as well as ensure that all drivers are properly qualified. See the position statement on contracting of student transportation posted on the School Transportation Funding web page. Direct questions about motor carrier requirements to the Tx. DOT Motor Carrier Division: • • Telephone: Website: (800) 299 -1700 http: //www. txdot. gov/about_us/administration/divisions/mcd. htm 6

Student Transportation § Funding of Student Transportation: To be eligible for funding of student

Student Transportation § Funding of Student Transportation: To be eligible for funding of student transportation, your charter school must complete an application and have it approved. The application can be found on the School Transportation Funding web page. Applications must be submitted no later than July 15 before the beginning of the school year. Applications received after July 15 will not be considered for the upcoming school year. Student transportation funding eligibility exists for eligible service provided by authorized vehicles or through our bus pass/bus card program. Both require application submission and approval before the start of a school year. The School Transportation Allotment Handbook, available on the School Transportation Funding web page, outlines student eligibility and route service eligibility. § How School Transportation Funding Is Determined: Once an application has been approved, an allotment estimate for the upcoming school year will be determined based on documentation and information provided in the application. Refer to the School Transportation Allotment Handbook for student/route eligibility details and reporting requirements. Regular Program School Bus/Passenger Car Transportation: If your charter school provides regular program student transportation using school buses or passenger cars, the basis for funding varies depending on when your school began operations. The first-year rate per mile is determined based on the data provided in the charter school application for transportation funding. 7

Student Transportation § How School Transportation Funding Is Determined (cont. ): Special Program Transportation:

Student Transportation § How School Transportation Funding Is Determined (cont. ): Special Program Transportation: If your charter school has a student that requires special transportation, the funding is based on the prior school year’s cost per mile for providing special program transportation, not to exceed the legislatively established limit of $1. 08 per mile. If special program transportation is provided the first year for which funding is approved, the rate will be a default rate of $1. 08 since there was no prior school year actual cost established. Career & Technology Program: Eligibility for funding exists when students must be transported from their home campus to another campus or site because the career and technology class they are enrolled in is not taught at their home campus. The class must have a career and technology indicator as part of its Public Education Information Management System code. The rate per mile is the prior school year’s cost per mile for regular program transportation on the Student Transportation Operations Report. If career and technology transportation is provided the first year for which funding is approved, the rate will be a default rate of $0. 97 since no prior year cost per mile has been established. Program allotment rate information is contained in the School Transportation Allotment Handbook. Bus Pass/Bus Card Program: Your charter school may be eligible to participate in this program if it contracts with a public mass transit authority to provide student transportation. Reimbursement is based on properly documented purchases and student issues using TEA-established procedures and required forms. All documents related to the purchase and issue of bus passes and bus cards must be submitted to the TEA monthly. 8

Student Transportation § Documenting Student Transportation: Beginning with the first school year for which

Student Transportation § Documenting Student Transportation: Beginning with the first school year for which funding is approved, your school must maintain documentation related to student transportation provided. Documentation requirements are outlined in the following: • School Transportation Allotment Handbook • Instructions for Completing the Student Transportation Operations Report • Instructions for Completing the School Transportation Route Services Report • Bus Pass/Bus Card Policies and Procedures All of these documents are available on the TEA School Transportation Funding web page at http: //www. tea. state. tx. us/index 2. aspx? id=2147484107&menu_id=645. 9

Student Transportation § Two student transportation reports are required to be submitted following the

Student Transportation § Two student transportation reports are required to be submitted following the end of each school year: School Transportation Route Services Report: The Route Services Report is the primary source for determining a district’s transportation allotment and must reflect eligible service (mileage and ridership) that the district provided during the school year. The report must be filed online in the Foundation School Program (FSP) System between June 1 and July 1 following the end of the school year. Related documentation includes, but is not limited to, route descriptions; eligible rider rosters/official counts of eligible riders; and bus pass/bus card documentation. Student Transportation Operations Report: The Operations Report must reflect the annual cost of student transportation. It must be filed online in the FSP System between October 1 and December 1 following the end of the school year. Additional time is allowed after the end of the school year (normally May/June) to ensure all cost documentation related to the student transportation that was provided is available. Related documentation includes, but is not limited to, actual cost data; beginning-of-school-year and end-ofschool-year school bus/vehicle odometer readings; records of mileage driven for school activities; information on types of buses/vehicles used; and records of payment received by a mass transit authority if approved for bus pass/bus card program. 10

Student Transportation If you currently provide or are considering providing student transportation and have

Student Transportation If you currently provide or are considering providing student transportation and have questions, please contact Danny Sanchez at (512) 463 -9266. 11

Cool, but not legal or safe, school buses in Texas 12

Cool, but not legal or safe, school buses in Texas 12