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?

January 2018


This resource contains information about the 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, with charter school laws. It does not contain any information for the six states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Please contact Micah Ann Wixom or mwixom@ecs.org with questions or comments about the database.
 

Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students?
Alabama No. However, schools can arrange to purchase transportation via annual service contract from its authorizer or, if the authorizer is the commission, from the district in which the school is housed.

Citations: Ala. Code § 16-6F-6
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.

Citations: Alaska Stat. Ann. § 14.09.010
Arizona No
Arkansas No
California No
Colorado No. However, an independent 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 describes how the school will meet the transportation needs of low-income students. A district-authorized charter school's contract is required to specify circumstances under which the local board of education delegates to the charter school the authority to impose a transportation fee on students who are enrolled in the charter school and, if so, the procedures for imposition of the fee.
 

Citations: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-303; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-105
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.

Citations: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-66ee
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.  Regardless of the provider, transportation assistance is made available to students pursuant to a public school choice program established by state law, provided that such student otherwise meets the eligibility requirements for such assistance.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 508
District of Columbia No. However, some charter school students are eligible for reduced public transportation fares.

Citations: D.C. Code Ann. § 38-1802.08
Florida Yes. Charter schools are required to provide transportation for all students residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school. Charter school governing boards may enter into an agreement or contract with the school district, private provider, or parents for such provision.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.33
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.

Citations: Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2068.1
Hawaii No
Idaho Yes. The board of trustees of each district, including specially chartered school districts, is required, where practicable, to provide transportation for the public school students within the district and -- if districts have annually agreed in writing -- to students living within adjoining districts. The state provides transportation support to enable school districts to meet transportation directives. To be eligible for state reimbursement, the student to be transported must reside within the public charter school's primary attendance area, and must meet at least one of the following two criteria:
  • The student resides within the school district in which the public charter school is physically located.
  •  The student resides within 15 miles of the public charter school, by road.


Citations: Idaho Code Ann. § 33-5208; Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1501
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.

Citations: 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/27A-7; 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/27A-11
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.

Citations: Ind. Code § 20-24-3-4; Ind. Code § 20-24-7-4
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.

Citations: Iowa Code Ann. § 256F.4; Iowa Code Ann. § 256F.5
Kansas Yes. School districts must provide transportation for students who qualify for the free-lunch program and live 2.5 miles or more from the school. School districts may also provide transportation for other students.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1908
Kentucky No
Louisiana Yes. If a charter school is requested to provide transportation to a charter school student who meets certain conditions specified by state law, the charter school may negotiate with the local board of the district in which it is located for student transportation.

Citations: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:3991; La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:158
Maine No. However a public charter school must have a plan that describes how the school will provide transportation for its students who reside in the school's catchment area and what assistance, if any, it will provide to meet the transportation needs of its students who reside outside the catchment area of the school.

Citations: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2412
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 (board of education) on the same terms and conditions as transportation is provided to children attending local district schools. However, in the event that a school committee limits transportation for district school students, the school district is not required to provide transportation to any commonwealth charter school beyond the limitations.

Citations: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71 § 89
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 or use transportation services of the school district in which the charter school is located. Charter schools must provide parents with information about transportation.

If the charter school elects to provide its own transportation, the school must provide transportation within the district in which the school is located and receives state transportation aid. For students living outside of the school district in which the charter school is located, the school is not required to pay for or provide transportation to and from the boundaries of the school district. However, the charter school may reimburse parents with incomes at or below the federal poverty level for the transportation costs to and from the school district border.

If the charter school does not elect to provide transportation, the district in which the school is located must provide transportation for the charter school students. In this circumstance, state policies governing school district transportation for resident for non-resident students apply to charter school students. 

Citations: Minn. Stat. § 124E.15
Mississippi No. However, the terms of each charter must include a transportation plan, and a charter school may contract with a school district for transportation. The state is required to disburse transportation funding to a charter school on the same basis and in the same manner as to districts. Charter schools authorized by the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board are exempt from the State Board of Education's rules and regulations governing transportation. 

Citations: Miss. Code Ann. § 37-28-43, § 37-28-55, § 37-41-1
Missouri No. However, charter schools are eligible for state transportation aid and are free to contract with the local school district or another entity for transportation services. State law specifies that if a student is a resident of the school district in which the charter school is located but moves out of the district, parents are responsible for transportation.

Citations: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.410, Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.415
Nevada No. However, a charter school application must include a statement of whether the charter school will provide transportation for students to and from the charter school. If the charter school will provide transportation, the application must include the proposed plan for the transportation of students. 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 students enrolled in the charter school to develop a plan for transportation to ensure that students have access to transportation to and from the charter school.

Citations: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.246
New Hampshire Yes. Students 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.

Citations: N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 194-B:2
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. 

Citations: N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:36A-13
New Mexico No. However, charter school applications must include a description of how the charter school plans to meet transportation needs of its students. In addition, charter schools must negotiate with school districts to provide transportation to eligible students. 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.

Citations: N. M. Stat. Ann. § 22-8B-4, N. M. Stat. Ann. § 22-8B-8
New York No. However, the charter application must state the means by which students will be transported to and from the school.

Citations: N.Y. Educ. Law § 2851, N.Y. Educ. Law § 2853
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 charge the charter school for these services.

Citations: N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-218.40
Ohio Yes. The school district must provide transportation to resident students attending a charter school within the school district, unless the charter school and school district have an agreement requiring the charter school to provide transportation or the charter school accepts responsibility for transportation. The agreement must be approved by the state superintendent. If a charter school provided transportation to a student in the previous school year it must provide transportation to that student in subsequent school years unless the charter school submits written notification to the school district. 

Citations: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.09, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.091
Oklahoma Yes. Charter schools are responsible for providing transportation, but only within the transportation boundaries of the school district where it is located.

Citations: Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-141
Oregon Yes. The charter school is responsible for providing transportation to students who reside within the school district and who attend the charter school, but the charter school may negotiate with a school district for transportation services. In addition, the school district where the charter school is located is responsible for transporting resident students attending the charter school. 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.

Citations: Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.145
Pennsylvania Yes. Students must be provided free transportation to the charter school by their school district of residence, with some exceptions, 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 up to 10 miles away by the nearest public highway.

Some school districts must also provide transportation if the students 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. 

Citations: 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 17-1726-A
Rhode Island No. However, district charter schools may negotiate for transportation services with the school district in which the charter school is located.

Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.2-5
South Carolina No. 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. A charter school may contract with a school district or a private provider for transportation. A charter school must describe how it plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils in its initial application

Citations: S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-50; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-60
Tennessee No. However, a charter school's inital application must include a student transportation plan and the charter school may make transportation arrangements with the local education agency in which the school is located. If a charter school decides to provide its own transportation, it will receive all funds that would have been spent by the local district on transportation. 

Citations: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-107; Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-114
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. Not addressed for other types of charter schools.

Citations: Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.109
Utah No. However, the state board of education must create rules governing transportation to and from charter schools. 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. 

Citations: Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-513
Virginia No. However, charter school applications must describe how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils.

Citations: Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-212.8
Washington No. However, charter school applications must include information about plans for providing transportation. Charter schools may enter into contracts with a school district, educational service district, or other organization to provide transportation services. 

Citations: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.030; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.130(2)(y)
Wisconsin No. If the charter school chooses to provide transportation, it is eligible for state transportation aid.

Citations: Wis. Stat. Ann. § 118.40
Wyoming No. A charter school application, however, must describe how the charter school plans to meet the transportation needs of its pupils.

Citations: Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-307


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