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DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this policy:

  1. “Bus” means a motor vehicle used to transport persons and designed to accommodate more than ten passengers, including the driver.
  2. “Passenger car” means a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, used to transport persons and designed to accommodate ten or fewer passengers, including the driver.
  3. “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.
  4. “School activity bus” means a bus designed to accommodate more than 15 passengers, including the operator, that is owned, operated, rented, or leased by TSBVI 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.
  5. “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.
  6. “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)

AUTHORITY

TSBVI may establish and operate an economical public school transportation system in the State of Texas.  In establishing and operating the transportation system, the Board shall employ bus drivers certified in accordance with standards and qualifications adopted by the Department of Public Safety.  Education Code 30.022, 34.007

SHARED TRANSPORTATION (SEE FFJ)

If the resident 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 from the resident school district for the transportation of a student to and from TSBVI.  Education Code 11.158(a)(16), 30.003

Bus Operation

A person may not operate a school bus if:

  1. The door of the school bus is open; or
  2. 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:

  1. Standing in the bus; or
  2. 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 school districts on routes having ten or more students.  Passenger cars may be used on routes having fewer than ten students.  Education Code 34.003(a)

No school employee may transport students in school or private vehicles unless authorized by the administration.

Bus Passes or Cards

TSBVI may provide a bus pass or mobility privilege card for another transportation system to each eligible student.  See Parent Student Handbook. 

Transportation of Homeless Students

As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, TSBVI 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:

  1. If the child continues to live in the area served by the resident 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.
  2. If the child’s living arrangements in the area served by the resident 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)

Transportation of Students in Foster Care

TSBVI receives Title 1, Part A funds so it 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:

  1. 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
  2. Ensure that, if there are additional costs incurred in providing transportation to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin, TSBVI will provide transportation to the school of origin if:
    1. The local child welfare agency agrees to reimburse TSBVI for the cost of such transportation;
    2. The resident district agrees to pay the cost of transportation; or
    3. The resident district and the local welfare agency agree to share the cost of such transportation.

20 U.S.C. 6312(c)(5) [See FD]

TRANSPORTATION COMPANY OR SYSTEM 

The Board may contract with a mass transit authority, or commercial transportation company for all or any part of its the School’s public school transportation if the authority, company, or Board:

  1. 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
  2. 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 the School shall conduct, in a manner and on a schedule approved by the Board, the following education programs:

  1. A program to inform the public that public school students will be riding on the authority’s or company’s buses;
  2. 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;
  3. 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.

The Board may supplement the state transportation cost allotment with private funds necessary to provide complete transportation services.

Education Code 30.002, 34.002,.008

[For provisions pertaining to criminal history record information on contractors providing transportation services, [see CJA.]

School Activities

When transporting students in connection with school activities other than on routes to and from TSBVI:

  1. Only school buses or commercial motor buses may be used to transport 15 or more students; and
  2. Rental cars or TSBVI 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)

Adopted:          3/26/93

Amended:        5/23/97, 1/24/02, 11/19/04, 1/25/08, 4/9/10, 1/25/19

Reviewed: