Charter Schools - Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students?

Charter Schools - Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students?

June 2014


At the present time, 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted charter school laws, so this database contains information only for them. It does not contain any information for the 8 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Please contact Jennifer Thomsen, 303.299.3633 or jthomsen@ecs.org with questions or comments about the database.
 

Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students?
Alaska No. However, if a school district provides transportation services, it must provide transportation services to students attending a charter school operated by the district under a policy adopted by the district. If a school district fails to adopt a policy, the school district is required to allocate the amount received for each student to each charter school operated by the district based on the number of students enrolled in the charter school.
Arizona No
Arkansas No
California No
Colorado No. However, a charter school application must contain a statement of whether the charter school plans to address the transportation needs of its pupils. If the charter school plans to provide transportation for pupils, the application must include a plan that, at a minimum, describes how the school will meet the transportation needs of low-income pupils, comply with insurance and liability issues, and comply with any applicable state or federal rules or regulations.
Connecticut Yes. The local or regional board of education of the school district in which the charter school is located must provide transportation services for students who reside in the school district unless the charter school makes other arrangements for transportation.
Delaware Yes. Depending upon the circumstances, transportation is provided by the school district, the charter school, or a contractor. If the charter school provides transportation, it receives state transportation aid.
District of Columbia No. However, charter school students, like regular public school students, are eligible for reduced public transportation fares.
Florida Yes. Charter schools must provide transportation for all students residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school and may enter into an agreement or contract with the school district, private provider or parents for such provision.
Georgia No. However, the state requires the local school board and the state board of education to treat charter schools no less favorably than other public schools within the school district with respect to funds for transportation.
Hawaii No
Idaho Yes. The board of trustees of each district, including specially chartered school districts, must, where practicable, provide transportation for the public school pupils within the district, and pupils resident within adjoining districts annually agreed to in writing by the districts involved, under conditions and limitations herein set forth. The state provides transportation support to enable school districts to meet transportation directives. 
Illinois No. However, transportation is subject to negotiation between a charter school and the local board. Also, a charter school proposal must include a description of how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils, and a plan for addressing the transportation needs of low-income and at-risk pupils.
Indiana No. However, a charter school proposal must include a transportation plan. Also, if a school district provides transportation services to a charter school, it must be provided at not more than 103% of the actual cost of the services.
Iowa Yes. Charter schools are required to comply with the same provisions for transportation as all public schools and receive funding for it as per all public schools. Also, a charter school application must include the means, costs, and plan for providing transportation for students attending the charter school.
Kansas Yes. School districts must provide transportation for students who qualify for the free-lunch program and live 2 1/2 miles or more from the school. School districts may also provide transportation for other students.
Louisiana No. However, a charter school may negotiate with the local board in which it is located for student transportation.
Maine No. However, charter schools must prepare a plan for transportation of students inside the school catchment area and may provide transportation assistance to students outside of that area.
Maryland No
Massachusetts Yes. The children who reside in the district where the charter school is located must be provided transportation to the charter school by the resident district's school committee on the same terms and conditions as transportation is provided to children attending local district schools.
Michigan No
Minnesota Yes. A charter school must notify the school district in which the charter school is located whether it will provide transportation for students. If the charter school elects to provide transportation for students in the school district, it receives state transportation aid. If the charter school does not so elect, transportation for pupils enrolled at the school must be provided by the district in which the school is located for a pupil residing in the same district in which the charter school is located.
Mississippi No. However, the terms of each charter must include a transportation plan. The state is required to disburse transportation funding to a charter school on the same basis and in the same manner as to districts. A charter school can contract with the district for transportation. Charter schools are exempt from transportation provisions. 
Missouri No. However, charter schools are eligible for state transportation aid and are free to contract with the local school district or other entity for provision of such services. State law does specify that in the case of a student of residence who moves out of district, parents are responsible for transportation.
Nevada No. However, a charter school application must include a statement of whether the charter school will provide for the transportation of pupils to and from the charter school. If the charter school will provide transportation, the application must include the proposed plan for the transportation of pupils. If the charter school will not provide transportation, the application must include a statement that the charter school will work with the parents and guardians of pupils enrolled in the charter school to develop a plan for transportation to ensure that pupils have access to transportation to and from the charter school.
New Hampshire Yes. Pupils who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located must be provided transportation by the district on the same terms and conditions as provided for pupils attending other public schools within that district. Non-resident students receive transportation pursuant to state board regulations.
New Jersey Yes. The students who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located must be provided transportation to the charter school on the same terms and conditions as transportation is provided to students attending the schools of the district.
New Mexico No. However, charter schools must negotiate with school districts to provide transportation to eligible students and must include a description of how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its students in its application. The school district, in conjunction with the charter school, may establish a limit for student transportation to and from the charter school site not to extend beyond the school district boundary.
New York No. However, the charter application must state the means by which pupils will be transported to and from the school.
North Carolina No. However, charter schools must develop a transportation plan so that transportation is not a barrier to any student who resides in the school district in which the school is located, but charter schools are not required to provide transportation to any student who lives within one and one-half miles of the school. Charter schools may contract with school districts for transportation services. The school district may reasonably charge the charter school for these services.
Ohio Yes. The school district must provide transportation to resident students attending a charter school within the school district, but is not required to provide transportation to resident students attending a charter school outside the school district. The district can enter into an agreement with the governing authority for transportation. The agreement has to be apprpoved by the state superintendent.
Oklahoma Yes. The charter school is responsible for providing transportation, but only within the transportation boundaries of the school district where it is located.
Oregon Yes.  The charter school is responsible for providing transportation to students who reside within the school district and who attend the charter school. The charter school may negotiate with a school district for the provision of transportation to students attending the charter school. In addition, the school district within which the charter school is located is responsible for the transportation of students attending the charter school in the same manner as students attending nonchartered public schools if the student is a resident of the school district. However, a school district may not be required to add or extend existing bus routes or other transportation services. Students who attend charter schools and who reside outside of the school district may use existing bus routes and transportation services of the school district in which the charter school is located.
Pennsylvania Yes. Students must be provided free transportation to the charter school by their school district of residence if they attend:
  • A charter school located in their school district of residence
  • A regional charter school of which the school district is a part
  • A charter school located outside district boundaries at a distance not exceeding 10 miles by the nearest public highway
School districts of the first class must also provide transportation to the students if they are the same age or are enrolled in the same grade, grades or their grade equivalents as any students of the district for whom transportation is provided under any program or policy to the schools of the district.

If a school district does not provide the required transportation, the state department of education is required to pay directly to the charter school funds for costs incurred in the transportation of its students. For each eligible student transported, the charter school will receive a payment equal to the total expenditures for transportation of the school district divided by the total number of school students transported by the school district under any program or policy.
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No. However, in its application, a charter school must describe how it plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils. A charter school may contract with a school district or a private provider for transportation. The State is not responsible for student transportation to a charter school unless the charter school is designated by the local school district as the only school selected within the local school district's attendance area. 
Tennessee No. However, a charter school application must include a student transportation plan and may make transportation arrangements with the local education agency in which the school is located.
Texas Yes. An open-enrollment charter school must provide transportation to each student attending the school to the same extent a school district is required by law to provide transportation to its students.
Utah No. However, the governing body of a charter school may provide transportation through an agreement or contract with the local school board, a private provider, or with parents.
Virginia No. A charter school application, however, must describe how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils.
Washington No
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No. A charter school application, however, must describe how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils.
Puerto Rico No


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