Do school districts have to provide bus transportation for students?
No, bus transportation is a privilege not a right, except in the case of special education students. Busing students began at a time when communities were more rural and students had great distances to travel to school.
Do districts get reimbursed fully for the cost of busing students?
No, it is not even close. In the case of AISD, we get reimbursed $1.25 per mile based on the states allotment formula, and this allotment formula hasn't changed in over 20 years. The actual cost today of purchasing buses, bus maintenance, transportation salaries, equipment and fuel comes to approximately $5.31 per mile.
Why are only students who live more than two miles from school eligible for bus transportation?
Most districts utilize the two-mile rule. AISD has also adopted this guideline.
Why don’t school buses have seat belts?
School buses are the safest way to transport your children to and from school. The color and size of school buses make them easily visible and identifiable, their height provides good driver visibility and raises the bus passenger compartment above car impact height; and emergency vehicles are the only other vehicle on the road that can stop traffic like a school bus can.
School buses are carefully designed on a different transportation and protection model than the average passenger car. The children are protected like eggs in an egg carton – compartmentalized, and surrounded with padding and structural integrity to secure the entire container. The seat backs are raised and the shell is reinforced for protection against impact.
There are other differences to consider between your car and your child’s school bus. In your car, you can supervise your child and ensure that your child’s belt remains properly secured. School buses use what is called “passive restraint,” meaning all a child must do to be protected is simply sit down in a seat. School buses also must be designed to be multi-purpose, fitting everything from a six year-old to an 18 year-old senior on the high school football team in full uniform. Sometimes it’s two to a seat, other times three. Because of this, emphasis is placed on protecting the entire valuable cargo.