For purposes of this policy:
- "Bus" means a motor vehicle used to transport persons and designed to accommodate more than ten passengers, including the operator.
- "Passenger car" means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, used to transport persons and designed to accommodate ten or fewer passengers, including the operator.
- "Passenger van" means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or passenger car, used to transport persons and designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.
- "School activity bus" means a bus designed to accommodate more than 15 passengers, including the operator, that is owned, operated, rented, or leased by a district and is used to transport public school students on a school-related activity trip, other than on routes to and from school. The term does not include a chartered bus, a bus operated by a mass transit authority, a school bus, or a multi-function school activity bus.
- "School bus" means a motor vehicle that was manufactured in compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards for school buses in effect on the date of manufacture and that is used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary students on a route to and from school or on a school-related activity trip other than on routes to and from school. The term does not include a school-chartered bus or a bus operated by a mass transit authority.
- "Motor bus" means a vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver.
Education Code 34.003(d), (e); Transp. Code 541.201(3)(A), (12), (15), (16)
A district may establish and operate an economical public school transportation system in the district or outside the district, if the district enters into an interlocal contract as provided by Government Code Chapter 791. In establishing and operating the transportation system, a board shall employ bus drivers certified in accordance with standards and qualifications adopted by the Department of Public Safety. Education Code 34.007
Transportation Allotment for Eligible Students
Each district operating a regular transportation system is entitled to an allotment based on the daily cost per regular eligible student of operating and maintaining the regular transportation system and the linear density of that system. Education Code 42.155(c)
"Regular eligible student" means a student who resides two or more miles from the student's campus of regular attendance, measured along the shortest route that may be traveled on public roads, and who is not classified as a student eligible for special education services. Education Code 42.155(b)(1)
The commissioner of education may not reduce the allotment because a district provides transportation for an eligible student to and from a child-care facility or a grandparent's residence instead of the student's residence, if the transportation is provided within the approved routes of the district for the school the student attends. Education Code 42.155(k)
A board may require payment of a reasonable fee for transportation to and from school of a student who lives within two miles of the school the student attends, except that a board may not charge a fee for transportation for which a district receives funds under Education Code 42.155(d). Education Code 11.158(a)(14)
If the district does not receive any funds under Education Code 42.155 and does not participate in a county transportation system for which an allotment is provided under Education Code 42.155(i), the board may require payment of a reasonable fee for the transportation of a student to and from the school the student attends. Education Code 11.158(a)(16)
Hazardous Conditions or High Risk of Violence
A district may apply for and on approval of the commissioner receive an additional amount of up to ten percent of its regular transportation allotment to be used for the transportation of children living within two miles of the school they attend who would be subject to hazardous traffic conditions or a high risk of violence if they walked to school. Education Code 42.155(d)
Explanation and Documentation
A board shall provide to the commissioner an explanation of the hazardous traffic conditions or areas presenting a high risk of violence applicable to the district and shall identify the specific hazardous or high risk areas for which the allocation is requested. A hazardous traffic condition exists where no walkway is provided and children must walk along or cross a freeway or expressway, an underpass, an overpass or a bridge, an uncontrolled major traffic artery, an industrial or commercial area, or another comparable condition. An area presents a high risk of violence if law enforcement records indicate a high incidence of violent crimes in the area. In addition to the explanation, a board requesting funds for an area presenting a high risk of violence must provide the commissioner with consolidated law enforcement records that document violent crimes identified by reporting agencies within the relevant jurisdiction. Education Code 42.155(d-1)
Community Walking Transportation Programs
A district may use all or part of any additional funds received to support community walking transportation programs, including walking school bus programs, provided that the district requires each supported program to submit a financial report each semester that covers services provided by the program for the benefit of the district. Education Code 42.155(d-2)
Career and Technology Program
The cost of transporting career and technology education students from one campus to another inside a district or from a sending district to another secondary public school for a career and technology program or an area career and technology school, or to an approved postsecondary institution under a contract for instruction approved by TEA shall be reimbursed based on the number of actual miles traveled times the district's official extracurricular travel per mile rate as set by the board and approved by TEA. Education Code 42.155(f)
A person may not operate a school bus if:
- The door of the school bus is open; or
- The number of passengers on the bus is greater than the manufacturer's design capacity for the bus.
An operator of a school bus, while operating the bus, shall prohibit a passenger from:
- Standing in the bus; or
- Sitting on the floor of the bus or in any location that is not designed as a seat.
Transp. Code 545.426
Transporting Students to School
School buses or mass transit authority buses shall be used for the transportation of students to and from schools on routes having ten or more students. Passenger cars may be used on routes having fewer than ten students. Education Code 34.003(a)
Bus Passes or Cards
A school district may use the state transportation allotment to provide a bus pass or card for another transportation system to each student who is eligible to use the regular transportation system of the district but for whom the regular transportation system of the district is not a feasible method of providing transportation. Education Code 42.155(l)
Designation of Child-Care Facility or Grandparent's Residence
A board, after determining eligibility for transportation services, shall allow a parent to designate a child-care facility or the residence of a grandparent of the child instead of the child's residence as the regular location for purposes of obtaining transportation under the system to and from the child's school, if the location is an approved stop on an approved route. Education Code 34.007(b)(2)
"Child-care facility" means a facility licensed, certified, or registered by the Department of Family and Protective Services to provide assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility for all or part of the 24-hour day, whether or not the facility is operated for profit or charges for the services it offers. Human Resources Code 42.002(3)
Transportation of Homeless Students
As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a district shall adopt policies and practices to ensure that transportation is provided, at the request of the parent or guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, at the request of the homeless liaison [see FFC]) to and from the school of origin, as follows:
- If the child continues to live in the area served by the district in which the school of origin is located, the district of origin will provide the child's transportation to and from the school of origin.
- If the child's living arrangements in the area served by the district of origin terminate and the child, though continuing his or her education in the school of origin, begins living in an area served by another district, the district of origin and the district in which the child is living shall agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child with transportation to and from the school of origin. If the districts are unable to agree, the responsibility and costs shall be shared equally.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii)(I), (II) [See FDC]
Transportation of Students in Foster Care
A district receiving Title 1, Part A funds must collaborate with the state or local child welfare agency to develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their school of origin when in their best interest will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the time in foster care. These procedures shall:
- Ensure that children in foster care needing transportation to the school of origin will promptly receive transportation in a cost-effective manner and in accordance with 42 U.S.C. 675(4)(A); and
- Ensure that, if there are additional costs incurred in providing transportation to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin, the district will
provide transportation to the school of origin if:
- The local child welfare agency agrees to reimburse the district for the cost of such transportation;
- The district agrees to pay the cost of transportation; or
- The district and the local welfare agency agree to share the cost of such transportation.
20 U.S.C. 6312(c)(5) [See FD]
When transporting students in connection with school activities other than on routes to and from school:
- Only school buses or motor buses may be used to transport 15 or more students; and
- Passenger cars or passenger vans may be used to transport fewer than 15 students.
Education Code 34.003(b)
In all circumstances in which passenger cars or passenger vans are used to transport students, the operator of the vehicle shall ensure that the number of passengers does not exceed the designed capacity of the vehicle and that each passenger is secured by a safety belt. Education Code 34.003(c)
Accelerated Instruction Programs
A district shall provide students required to attend the accelerated programs described in policy code EIE with transportation to those programs if the programs occur outside of regular school hours. Education Code 28.0211(j)
Transportation Company or System
A board may contract with a mass transit authority, commercial transportation company, or juvenile board for all or any part of a district's public school transportation if the authority, company, or board:
- Requires its school bus drivers to have the qualifications required by and to be certified in accordance with standards established by the Department of Public Safety; and
- Uses only those school buses or mass transit authority buses in transporting 15 or more students that meet or exceed safety standards for school buses established under Education Code 34.002.
A mass transit authority contracting under this provision for daily transportation of pre-primary, primary, secondary students to or from school shall conduct, in a manner and on a schedule approved by the board, the following education programs:
- A program to inform the public that public school students will be riding on the authority's or company's buses;
- A program to educate drivers of the buses to be used under the contract of the special needs and problems of public school students riding on the buses; and
- A program to educate public school students on bus riding safety and any special considerations arising from the use of the authority's or company's buses.
A board may supplement the state transportation cost allotment with local funds necessary to provide complete transportation services.
Education Code 34.008
[For provisions pertaining to criminal history record information on contractors providing transportation services, see CJA(LEGAL).]