School Business Affairs February 2019

18 FEBRUARY 2019 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS TRANSPORTATION Alternative Student Transportation: Reducing Costs and Improving Quality of Service Alternative student transportation can help districts address the myriad requirements of special needs transportation. By Megan Carey M eeting the transportation needs of special populations can be challenging for school districts. Under the Individuals with Disabili- ties Education Act, public school districts must provide transportation to special needs students who cannot get to and from school the same way as non-disabled students because of their disability. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires all public school districts to provide transportation to homeless students to the school the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled at the parents’ request. Some states’ open-enrollment policies allow stu- dents to transfer to a public school of their choice with the receiving district responsible for transportation to some extent. When students need transportation in these special circumstances, the school district must determine what type of vehicle will transport the students. Many districts are finding innovative solutions to the challenge of sup- porting transportation for special needs students. These