Wednesday, May 25, 2022
It’s been decades since the state actually met the obligation it made to pay the full share of bussing school children to regional schools and it creates an unfair strain that ultimately takes a toll on kids and their families. School transportation is an important component of school and municipal budgets and they deserve our support.
Student transportation requirements are governed by both state and federal statutes and regulations. Funding for regional school transportation, affirmed in Chapter 71, a state law adopted more than 70 years ago, is appropriated through a budget line item in the state’s annual operating budget. However, unlike other city and town districts, regional school districts are required to bus students in every grade and usually over much longer distances.
Every student deserves access to high-quality education but regional schools face real challenges because budgets have funded set reimbursements at between 70 and 85 percent of their student transportation costs. And, unlike other forms of education funding, regional transportation funds are not apportioned based on need Tarr.