DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
14 DE Admin. Code 1105
REGULATORY IMPLEMENTING ORDER
1105 School Transportation
I. Summary of the Evidence and Information Submitted
The Secretary of Education seeks the consent of the State Board of Education to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1105 School Transportation. A new section, 22.0, has been added to include the responsibilities of non-public, non-profit schools for the administration of their transportation systems under the rules and regulations of the Department of Education. Some additional language is included in the final version to further clarify the issues in 22.3 and 22.4. Section 13.2.1 was also amended in order to allow for a different payment schedule for school districts that begin school before September 1st. Instead of changing the payment date for everyone as appeared in the proposed regulation, the final version allows for differences in the district pay schedules.
Notice of the proposed regulation was published in the News Journal and the Delaware State News on July 26, 2004 in the form hereto attached as Exhibit “A”. Comments were received from the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities.
In response to the comments that the nonpublic school standards, Section 22.3 have no analogous exception as in 8.7, the Department has added an eligibility exception statement in Section 22.3 similar to the statement in section 8.7 for families of nonprofit, nonpublic school students who are unable to walk or should not walk from home to school and return.
In response to the concern about Section 19.0 based on 14 Del.C. §3124 the Department’s response remains the same as in the April 2004 reply to the Councils that “the comments are not specific to the amendments being considered and in addition the concerns that were expressed about the regulation largely reflect the statutory provisions”.
II. Findings of Facts
The Secretary finds that it is appropriate to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1105 in order to add a new section, 22.0, to include the responsibilities of non-public, non-profit schools for the administration of their transportation systems under the rules and regulations of the Department of Education. Section 13.2.1 was also amended in order to allow for a different payment schedule for school districts that begin school before September 1st.
III. Decision to Amend the Regulation
For the foregoing reasons, the Secretary concludes that it is appropriate to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 1105. Therefore, pursuant to 14 Del.C. §122, 14 DE Admin. Code 1105 attached hereto as Exhibit “B” is hereby amended. Pursuant to the provision of 14 Del.C. §122(e), 14 DE Admin. Code 1105 hereby amended shall be in effect for a period of five years from the effective date of this order as set forth in Section V. below.
IV. Text and Citation
The text of 14 DE Admin. Code 1105 amended hereby shall be in the form attached hereto as Exhibit “B”, and said regulation shall be cited as 14 DE Admin. Code in the Administrative Code of Regulations for the Department of Education.
V. Effective Date of Order
The actions hereinabove referred to were taken by the Secretary pursuant to 14 Del.C. Ch 29 on September 16, 2004. The effective date of this Order shall be ten (10) days from the date this Order is published in the Delaware Register of Regulations.
IT IS SO ORDERED the 16th day of September 2004.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Valerie A. Woodruff, Secretary of Education
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Dr. Joseph A. Pika, President
Jean W. Allen, Vice President
Richard M. Farmer, Jr.
Mary B. Graham, Esquire
Dennis J. Savage
Dr. Clairbourne D. Smith
1105 School Transportation
1.0 Responsibilities of Local Superintendents: Local District Superintendents or their designees shall assume the following responsibilities concerning the transportation of students:
1.1 Implement state school transportation regulations. Local school disciplinary policies shall include pupil behavior and discipline on the school bus.
1.2 Define and coordinate changes to school transportation operations impacting local district budget allocations with the Department of Education.
1.3 Provide resource material and encourage teachers to include instruction in passenger safety in the school curriculum.
1.4 Provide for close and continuous supervision of the unloading and loading zones on or near the school plant, and of the emergency drills.
1.5 Provide supervision for those students whose bus schedules require them to arrive at school before classes begin and remain after classes terminate.
1.6 Promote public understanding of, and support for the district‘s school transportation program.
1.7 Assume prime responsibility for student conduct.
2.0 Conditions for School Bus Contractors: School Bus Contractors shall agree to the following conditions in their contracts:
2.1 Follow all applicable federal, state, and local school bus regulations and policies.
2.2 Communicate effectively with the district transportation supervisor.
2.3 Dismiss a school bus driver when it can be shown that the driver is not satisfactorily performing driver tasks. District transportation supervisors may restrict a driver from operating in their school district.
2.4 Pay drivers and aides and provide substitute drivers and aides.
3.0 Responsibilities of School Bus Drivers: Local school districts shall have a policy concerning the responsibilities of school bus drivers which, at a minimum, includes the following:
3.1 A statement that the school bus driver is in full charge of the bus and pupils, has the authority of a classroom teacher and is responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of each passenger.
3.2 Statements listing the following specific responsibilities of the bus driver:
3.2.1 Operate the school bus in a safe and efficient manner.
3.2.2 Conduct pre-trip and post-trip checks on the vehicle.
3.2.3 Establish and maintain rapport with passengers.
3.2.4 Maintain discipline among passengers.
3.2.5 Meet emergency situations effectively.
3.2.6 Communicate effectively with district and school staff.
3.2.7 Maintain effective contact with the public.
3.2.8 Complete reports as required by the state or school district.
3.2.9 Complete required training programs satisfactorily.
3.2.10 Refrain from using profane or indecent language or tobacco while on duty.
3.2.11 Dress appropriately.
3.2.12 Pickup and drop-off students at designated stops.
3.2.13 Submit to periodic random drug and alcohol testing and be subject to actions specified in the Delaware Code and in federal requirements.
3.2.14 Report suspected cases of child abuse to the school principal or designated official.
3.2.15 Notify the district transportation supervisor of any school bus accident.
3.3 A statement requiring a report of a physical examination on forms designated by the Department of Education.
4.0 Qualifications and Responsibilities of School Bus Aides
4.1 Qualifications for School Bus Aides include the following and shall apply to all new applicants and for any person whose employment as an aide has lapsed for a period of over one year.
4.1.1 Be at least 18 years of age.
4.1.2 Be fingerprinted to allow a criminal history check at both state and federal level and meet the same requirements (pre-licensing) specified for school bus drivers in the Del.C.
4.1.3 File with the district transportation supervisor a notarized affidavit (the same as the school bus driver affidavit) attesting to acceptable criminal history pending an official state and federal criminal record report.
4.1.4 Submit to the federal drug and alcohol testing procedures established for school bus drivers.
4.2 Local school districts shall have a policy concerning school bus aides which, at a minimum, lists the following responsibilities:
4.2.1 Assist in loading and unloading of students, including lift operation.
4.2.2 Ensure that students and equipment are properly strapped in seats. Adjust, fasten, and release restraint devices for students and equipment, as required. Monitor overall safety of students and equipment.
4.2.3 Ensure that all students remain seated at all times.
4.2.4 Assist the driver during unusual traffic conditions; act as a lookout if necessary when bus must be backed.
4.2.5 Assist the driver in the enforcement of all state and school district bus safety regulations.
4.2.6 Perform record keeping tasks related to student attendance and bus assignment.
4.2.7 Monitor and report student misbehavior according to established procedure.
4.2.8 Assist the driver in keeping the interior of the bus clean.
4.2.9 Assist students with disabilities with personal needs associated with their disabilities.
4.2.10 Assist in bus evacuation drills.
4.2.11 Work cooperatively with all school personnel and parents.
4.2.12 Perform other duties as assigned by the district transportation supervisor or designee.
5.0 Student Conduct on School Buses: School Districts shall have a policy concerning the behavior of students on school buses that shall, at a minimum, contain the following rules which if not followed may result in the suspension of bus riding privileges.
5.1 Obey the driver promptly, and be courteous to the driver and to fellow students. Students are to conduct themselves while on the bus in such a way that it will not distract the driver from the job of driving.
5.2 Be at their bus stop on time for pickup.
5.3 Wait for the bus on the sidewalk or shoulder, not the roadway.
5.4 Keep a safe distance from the bus while it is in motion.
5.5 Enter the bus without crowding or disturbing others and occupy their seats immediately.
5.6 Get on or off the bus only when it is stopped.
5.7 Remain seated and facing forward. No student shall occupy a position in the driver area in front of a stanchion, barrier, or white floor line that may distract the driver’s attention or interfere with the driver’s vision.
5.8 Stay out of the driver’s seat. Also, unnecessary conversation with the driver is prohibited while the bus is in motion.
5.9 Follow highway safety practices in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Laws of the State of Delaware and walk on the side of the road facing traffic when going to or from the bus or bus stop along the highway. Before crossing the road to board the bus or after being discharged from the bus cross only upon an audible clearance signal from the driver.
5.10 Do not cross the road until it is clear of all traffic or that traffic has come to a complete stop and then walk in front of the bus far enough to be seen by the driver at all times.
5.11 Observe classroom conduct when on the bus.
5.12 Do not call out to passers-by or open the bus windows without permission from the driver, nor extend head or arms out of the windows.
5.13 Do not leave the bus without the driver’s consent, except on arrival at their regular bus stop or at school.
5.14 Keep the bus clean, sanitary, and orderly and not damage or abuse the equipment.
5.15 Do not smoke, use profanity or eat or drink on the bus.
5.16 Do not throw articles of any kind in, out, or around the bus.
5.17 Other forms of misconduct that will not be tolerated are acts such as, but not limited to, indecent exposure, obscene gestures, spitting, and others that may be addressed in the school code of conduct.
6.0 Procedures for Operating Buses: Each school district shall adopt the following procedures for the operation of their school buses:
6.1 No person other than a pupil, teacher, school official, aide or substitute driver shall be permitted to ride on a school bus while transporting pupils. Exceptions may be made for parents involved in Department of Education educational programs that provide for transportation and others approved by the district transportation supervisor.
6.2 The driver shall maintain a schedule in the bus and shall at all times adhere to it. Drivers shall not be required to wait for pupils unless they can be seen making an effort to reach the bus stop.
6.3 The driver shall maintain discipline on the bus, and shall report cases of disobedience or misconduct to the proper school officials. No pupils may be discharged from the bus for disciplinary reasons except at the home or school. The principal or designated school official shall be notified of such action immediately. Any change to the action taken by the driver or any further disciplinary action to be taken is the responsibility of the principal or designated school official.
3 DE Reg. 942 (1/1/00)
6.4 Pupils shall have definite places to get on and leave the bus, and should not be allowed to leave the bus at any place other than the regular stop without written permission from their parents, and approval by the principal or designated school official, except in cases of emergency. Districts may adopt a more restrictive policy.
6.5 Buses shall be brought to a full stop before pupils are allowed to get on or off. Pupils are not permitted to ride outside or in any hazardous location in the bus including the area ahead of the stanchions, barriers, or white floor line designating the driver-area.
6.6 Buses shall not stop near the crest of hills, on curves, or on upgrades or downgrades of severe inclination. When stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils, the bus shall always be stopped on the right side of the road and as far off the paved or main traveled portion of the highway as the condition of the shoulder permits.
6.7 Pupils who must cross the road to board the bus or after leaving the bus shall cross at a distance in front of the bus and beyond the crossing control arms so as to be clearly seen by the driver and only upon an audible clearance by the driver. The driver shall attempt to signal pupils to cross by instructions through the external speaker of the public address system.
6.8 All loading and unloading of pupils shall be made from the service door. The rear exit door is not to be used except in cases of emergency or emergency drills. No object shall be placed in the bus that restricts the passage to the emergency door or other exits.
6.9 No one but the driver shall occupy the driver’s seat. Pupils shall remain behind the white floor line.
6.10 Seats may be assigned to pupils by the driver, subject to the approval of a school official.
6.11 The doors of the bus shall be kept closed while the bus is in motion, and pupils shall not put their head or arms out of open windows.
6.12 When the bus is stopped on school grounds, students are aboard, and the motor is running, the transmission shall be in neutral (clutch disengaged) and the parking brake set. While on school grounds, drivers shall not leave their seat while the motor is running or leave the key in the ignition switch.
6.13 Fuel tanks shall not be filled while the engine is running or while pupils are in the bus.
6.14 Weapons of any kind are not permitted on a school bus.
6.15 Animals are not permitted on school buses; however, a service animal is permitted if a physician certifies that it is required.
6.16 A school bus shall not be used for hauling anything that would make it objectionable for school use or unsafe for passengers.
6.17 Band instruments, shop projects and other school projects shall not be permitted on the bus if they interfere with the driver or other passengers. The aisle, exits, and driver’s vision shall not be blocked.
6.18 Bus stops on roadways with three or more lanes (with oncoming traffic) must be made on the right side of the road. Students shall not be required to cross more than two lanes of traffic when entering or leaving the bus.
6.19 Headlights or daytime running lights shall be on at all times when the bus is in motion.
6.20 On the bus route every effort should be made to load children before turn-arounds are made and unload them after the turn-around is made.
6.21 Backing of school buses is prohibited, except in unusual circumstances:
6.21.1 A school bus shall not be driven backwards on school grounds unless an adult is posted to guard the rear of the bus.
6.21.2 When backing is unavoidable extreme caution must be exercised by the bus operator and an outside observer should be used if possible.
7.0 Accident Reports: All drivers or contractors shall complete accident reports and submit them to the district person in charge of transportation in order to assure accurate information pertaining to school bus accidents.
7.1 The following information shall be included on all school bus accident reports and be maintained in the district transportation files:
7.1.1 A description, preferably using diagrams, of the damage to each vehicle in addition to estimates of damage costs.
7.1.2 A description of all personal injuries.
7.1.3 A list of passengers and witnesses.
7.1.4 Name, address and telephone number of the driver.
3 DE Reg. 942 (1/1/00)
7.1.5 Follow-up information, such as the actual cost of repairs, should be added to the accident report wherever it is filed; i.e., in federal, state or local offices, so that the record of the accident is complete. Other pertinent information relating to the accident that should be added later, if the information is readily available, includes:
• Disposition of any litigation.
• Disposition of any summonses.
• Net effects of all personal injuries sustained, including medical care given, physician’s fees, hospital expenses, etc.
• Amount of property damage other than to vehicles involved.
• Any corrective actions taken against the school bus driver, e.g., training, suspension, or dismissal.
• A summation of the driver’s total accident record so that each completed report form will contain a listing of the total number of accidents that the driver has had.
8.0 Transportation Benefits: Transportation benefits shall be provided for pupils in grades K-6 whose legal residences are one (1) mile or more from the public schools to which they would normally be assigned by the district administrations and for pupils in grades 7-12 whose legal residences are two (2) miles or more from the public schools to which they would normally be assigned by the district administrations.
8.1 For the purpose of these regulations, the “legal residence” of the pupil is deemed to be the legal residence of the parent(s), legal guardian(s), or
caregiver Relative Caregiver as described in 14 Del.C. §202(e)(3). Daycare facilities may be designated as a pupil’s residence for pickup and drop off.
8.2 To determine pupil eligibility for transportation benefits, measurement shall be by the most direct route provided by a public road or public walkway. The measurement shall be from the nearest point where a private road or walkway connects the legal residence of the pupil with the nearest public entrance of the school building to which the pupil is normally assigned by the school district administration.
8.3 All school bus routes shall be measured from the first pick-up point to the respective schools served in the approved sequence, and then by the most direct route back to the first pick-up point.
8.4 Additional bus routes required after the opening of school shall be approved by the Department of Education and supported by evidence of need to include: enrollment number changes, descriptions of existing routes in the area of proposed additional service, the run times, and actual loads. A description of the proposed route shall also accompany the request.
8.5 Transportation for eligible pupils may be provided from locations other than their legal residence provided that:
8.5.1 Such pickup and discharge points as approved by the district administration are in excess of the relevant one and two mile limits from the school to be attended, and such transportation to be provided will be to the public school to which the pupil is assigned by the district administration.
8.5.2 Such transportation to be provided be on the same bus and/or route to and from the school attended by the pupil (i.e. each student is entitled to one seat on one bus) except that permission may be granted on a year-by-year basis by the district administration for eligible pupils to ride other buses if seats are available and does not create additional expense to the State.
8.5.3 The limitation pertaining to “same bus and route” indicated above is not applicable to pupils attending vocational-technical schools or kindergartens operating one-half day sessions.
8.6 A spur to a bus route (where a bus leaves a main route) shall not be scheduled unless the one-way distance is greater than ½ mile. Requests for exception due to a unique traffic hazard from a parent must be in writing, approved by the local school board, and submitted through the Chairman of the Unique Hazard Committee for review.
8.7 Students otherwise ineligible to ride a bus may ride if a physician certifies that a student is unable or should not walk from home to school and return.
9.0 Bus Capacities: Bus capacities for children in grades K-6 shall be established by the manufacturer on the basis of 13 inches per child, and for Grades7-12 secondary pupils the capacity shall be established on the basis of 15 inches per child. A mixture of the criteria will be used to plan loads when pupils come from both of the above groups. Actual bus loads may not exceed this guidance. Standees shall not be permitted under normal circumstances; however, exceptions may be made in emergency situations on a temporary basis.
10.0 Loading and Unloading: Each school shall have a loading and unloading dock or area, rather than load or discharge passengers onto the street. On school grounds all other traffic is prohibited in the loading and unloading area during school bus loading/unloading operations.
11.0 Unique Hazards: Unique hazards are considered to be conditions or situations that expose the pedestrian to rare or uncommon traffic dangers. This definition is not intended to include hazards representative of situations which may exist throughout the State.
11.1 Procedures for handling Unique Hazards requests.
11.1.1 When the request for relief originates with parents of pupils affected or vested officials, such as State and local police representatives, Safety Council representatives, and legislators, it shall be presented in writing to the local school authorities.
126.96.36.199 The local school administration shall make every effort to resolve problems identified by the parents, vested officials, or by the local district staff.
188.8.131.52 If the problem cannot be resolved by the local school administration, the request shall be forwarded to the local board of education for appropriate action. If the local board of education has explored all of the local alternatives to resolve the problem without success, a request by board action shall be made to the Chairman of the Unique Hazards Committee (Education Associate for School Transportation).
11.2 The request to the Unique Hazards Committee must include:
11.2.1 The original request from the parents, vested officials, or the district staff.
11.2.2 A statement of the specific hazard and area involved including maps showing the specific location, points of concern and schools attended.
11.2.3 Number and grades of children involved.
11.2.4 School schedule and the time children would normally be walking to and from school in the area of concern.
11.2.5 List any actions to resolve the problem taken by the local school administration.
11.2.6 List any actions to resolve the problem taken by the local board of education.
11.3 The Unique Hazards Committee will process the request and report its findings and recommendations to the Department of Education for their consideration and action. A copy of the report will also be forwarded to the local board of education involved. 11.2.7 List any actions to resolve the problem taken by the town, the city or county.
11.4 The Unique Hazards Committee consists of representatives from the Department of Transportation; the New Castle County Crossing Guard Division; Delaware Safety Council; Traffic Control Section, the Delaware State Police; and the Department of Education Associate for School Transportation (Chairman).
11.5 Unique Hazards Committee Recommendations Appeal Process
11.5.1 Appeals to the Unique Hazards Committee recommendations approved by the State Department of Education must be in writing and from the local board of education.
11.5.2 The local school board shall, before making an appeal, make every effort to resolve the problem. If, in the opinion of the local board of education, reconsideration is needed by the Unique Hazards Committee, the appeal, along with pertinent information, should be forwarded to the Chairman of the Unique Hazards Committee.
11.5.3 The Unique Hazards Committee will submit to the State Department of Education its recommendations regarding the appeal for reconsideration by the local board of education. A copy of the report will also be forwarded to the local board of education involved.
12.0 Contingency Plans: Each school district shall have contingency plans for inclement weather, accidents, bomb threats, hostages, civil emergencies, natural disasters, and facility failures (environmental/water, etc.). These plans shall be developed in cooperation with all those whose services would be required in the event of various types of emergencies. The school transportation supervisor, school administrators, teachers, drivers, maintenance and service personnel, students, and others shall be instructed in the procedure to be followed in the event of the contingencies provided for in the plans.
13.0 Reimbursements for School Bus Ownership and or Contracts: School buses may be either state owned/district operated or contracted.
13.1 Reimbursements for buses operated by the district shall be on the basis of the formula for district operated buses unless otherwise approved by the Department of Education.
13.1.1 Drivers employed by the district shall be paid on the regular payroll of the district. When drivers are employed in a dual capacity there shall be strict accounting for salary division.
13.2 Reimbursement for buses operated on contract shall be on the basis of the approved formula or of a bid if the amount should be less.
13.2.1 Contractors shall be paid regularly [at the end
in the middle] of the month. The total contract shall be paid in ten (10) installments, with the first payment [at the end in the middle] of September. [For those school districts opening before September 1, payments may be made as early as thirty (30) days following the start of the school year with follow-up monthly payments to be made no earlier than the date used for the first payment.]
13.3 Any transportation costs caused by grade reorganizations and/or pupil re-assignments during the school term after October 1, other than the occupancy of a new school building, shall be at the expense of the local school district unless approved by the Department of Education.
13.4 Bills unpaid from Transportation funding lines that have not been encumbered as of June 30, shall be the responsibility of the local school district.
13.5 Reimbursement to the local school district for contracts or for district-owned or leased buses shall be made on the basis of a Department of Education formula approved by the State Board of Education. This formula shall take into consideration school bus cost and depreciation, fixed charges, operations, maintenance, driver and aide wages. Reimbursement shall be made only for transportation of eligible pupils and exceptions approved by the Department of Education and the State Board of Education.
13.6 Contract allowances for buses when there are Emergency Days (forgiven by the Department of Education with the consent of the State Board of Education), Specially Declared Holidays or Strikes by Teachers.
13.6.1 School bus contractors and school districts shall be paid the normal rate of pay as provided for in their contract, less the allowance for maintenance and administration. Driver (including layover allowance) and aide allowances shall be paid.
13.6.2 School bus contractors and school districts with buses assigned to midday kindergarten or vocational-technical trips shall be paid the normal rate of pay as provided for in their contract, less the allowance for fuel.
13.6.3 The additional mileage allowance for contractor and school district buses will not include fuel and maintenance allowances.
13.6.4 The Delmar School District shall be reimbursed on the basis of the additional days necessary to operate as a result of the agreement with the Wicomico County Board of Education for the Delmar, Maryland elementary schools.
14.0 Transportation Formulas for Public School Districts Operating District, Lease, or Lease Purchase Buses Items which are not on this list must be approved by the State Department of Education. Any purchase, commitment, or obligation exceeding the transportation allocation to the district is the responsibility of the district.
14.1 The following items may be used for the purpose of providing pupil transportation in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Education.
14.1.1 Advertising including equipment, routes, supplies, and employees.
14.1.2 Communication systems including two-way radios, cellular phones, and AM-FM radio.
14.1.3 Fuel including gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene, storage tanks, pumps, additives, and oil.
14.1.4 Leasing/rental including tools, equipment, storage facilities, buses, garage space, and office space.
14.1.5 Office supplies and materials including computer hardware, computer software, data processing, maps, postage, printing, subscription, and measuring devices.
14.1.6 Safety materials including audio-visual aids, restraining vests, belts, safety awards, pins, patches, certificates, wheelchair ramps, wheelchair retainers, printing, handout materials, pamphlets, training materials, subscriptions, and bus seats.
14.1.7 Salary/wages including attendants (aide) as approved by the Department of Education when required in a student’s IEP, dispatchers, drivers, maintenance helpers, mechanics, mechanics helpers, office workers, secretarial, substitute drivers, supervisory (other than State supported supervisor or manager), and State provided employee benefits.
14.1.8 Shop facilities including heat, electric, water, sewer, security, fences, lights, locks, guards, bus storage, janitorial supplies, brushes, mops, buckets, soap, tools, maintenance vehicles, grease, service vehicles, and work uniforms for maintenance staff.
14.1.9 Sidewalks including construction of sidewalks, footbridges, etc. that would be offset in reduced busing costs in 5 years or less, with prior approval of Supervisors of Transportation and School Plant Planning.
14.2 Special 01-60 state funds are provided to school districts for training supplies. This account may also be used for reimbursements for state provided equipment and services.
14.3 Examples of Programs Excluded from State Reimbursement:
14.3.1 Extracurricular Field trips
14.3.2 Transportation of pupils from one school to another for special programs (e.g., music festivals, Christmas programs, etc.)
14.3.3 Transportation of pupils to and from athletic contests, practices, tutoring, band events, etc.
14.3.4 Post-secondary classes
14.3.5 Federal programs
14.3.6 Alternative school transportation when not using a shuttle concept that is as efficient as a shuttle concept.
14.3.7 Choice school transportation outside of the school district or outside of the attendance area of school that the bus normally serves.
14.3.8 Charter school transportation outside of the school district.
15.0 Transportation Allowances for Individuals: Requests for transportation allowances shall be made in writing to the Department of Education by districts with justification. This information is necessary in order for the Department to determine a pupil’s eligibility. The responsibility for establishing a claim for transportation allowances rests upon the district and claimant.
15.1 All requests shall be signed by the parent or guardian and certified by the superintendent, principal or the principal teacher of the school to be attended. In case of a car pool, only the driver shall be paid.
15.2 Payments or reimbursements for transportation by private means shall be on the following basis:
15.2.1 When adequate public services is available, the public service rates shall be used.
15.2.2 When public service is not available and it is necessary to provide transportation by private conveyance, the allowance shall be calculated at the prevailing state rate per mile for the distance from the home to the school or school bus and return twice a day, or for the actual distance traveled.
15.2.3 Districts shall maintain a monthly record of mileage traveled on a form provided by the Department of Education.
15.2.4 Any exception or variation must be approved by the Department of Education.
16.0 Cost Records: Cost Records shall include the following costs directly attributable to the transportation of eligible students on district school buses:
16.1 Total expenditures by funding code.
16.2 Wages of the Drivers.
16.3 Bus maintenance costs (expenditure for all bus supplies, repairs and routine service).
16.4 Cost of accidents, including bus repairs.
16.5 Indirect costs (all those costs not included in above categories and all costs associated with those who supervise the school transportation operation).
17.0 Bus Replacement Schedules: The time begins for a new bus when it is placed in service. A bus shall have the required mileage prior to the start of the school year. Once a bus is placed in service for the school year, it will not be replaced unless it is unable to continue service due to mechanical failure.
17.1 The following age and mileage requirements apply:
17.1.1 12th year must be replaced ( it may then be used as a spare); or
17.1.2 150,000 miles no matter age of bus; or
17.1.3 7 years plus 100,000 miles; or
17.1.4 may be replaced after 10 years.
17.2 Contractors shall be reimbursed for their eligible school buses for the annual allowances permitted by the Formula. New (unused) buses placed in service in a year following their manufacture shall begin their 7 years of capital allowances with the rate specified for the year of manufacture and continue in year increments until completed.
17.3 School buses purchased with state-allocated transportation funds may be used by the school districts for purposes other than transportation of pupils to and from school. This type of use shall be at the district’s expense and shall occur only during a time when the bus is not making its normal school run.
In accordance with the Attorney General’s opinion of June 18, 1974, regarding the use of buses purchased from State-allocated transportation funds for purposes other than the regular transportation of pupils to and from school, the provisions of Title 14, Section 1056, School Property, Use, Control and Management, shall apply.
18.0 School Bus Inspections: The Delaware Motor Vehicle Division has two periods of time when all school bus owners shall have their buses inspected each year, once during January or February and the second yearly inspection during June, July, or August.
19.0 Transportation for Students with Disabilities: Transportation or a reimbursement for transportation expenses actually incurred shall be provided by the State for eligible persons with disabilities by the most economically feasible means compatible with the person’s disability subject to the limitations in the following regulations:
19.1 When the legal residence of a person receiving tuition assistance for private placement is within sixty (60) miles (one way) of the school or institution to be attended, the person shall be eligible for round trip reimbursement for transportation on a daily basis at the per mile rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for business use of a private vehicle, or for transportation at State expense which may be provided in lieu of the per mile reimbursement. (Round trip mileage is considered to be from the person’s legal residence to the school or institution and return twice a day, or for actual mileage traveled, whichever is less.)
19.2 When the legal residence of a person receiving tuition assistance for private placement is in excess of sixty (60) miles (one way) but less than one hundred (100) miles (one way) from the school or institution to be attended, the person shall be eligible for round trip transportation reimbursement at the per mile rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for business use of a private vehicle, or for transportation at State expense which may be provided in lieu of the per mile reimbursement on a weekly basis and on such other occasions as may be required when the school is not in session due to scheduled vacations or holidays of the school or institution. (Round trip mileage is considered to be from the person’s legal residence to the school or institution and return twice a week. The weekly basis is to be determined by the calendar of the school or institution to be attended.)
19.3 When the legal residence of a person receiving tuition assistance for private placement is in excess of one hundred (100) miles (one way) of the school or institution to be attended, the person shall be eligible for round trip reimbursement on the basis of one round trip per year from the person’s legal residence to the school or institution and return, and at such other times when care and maintenance of the person is unavailable due to the closing of the residential facility provided in conjunction with the school or institution. (Round trip is considered to be from the person’s legal residence to the school or institution to be attended and from the school or institution to the legal residence of the person on an annual basis or at such times as indicated above.)
19.4 Reimbursement shall be computed on the per mile rate allowed by the Internal Revenue Service for business use of a private vehicle from the legal residence to the point of embarkation and return to the legal residence and for the actual fares based on the most economical means of transportation from the point of embarkation to the school or institution to be attended; the return trip shall be computed on the same basis.
19.5 Transportation at State expense may be provided from the legal residence to the point of embarkation in lieu of the per mile reimbursement when it is determined by the local district to be more economically feasible.
19.6 The local district of residence shall be responsible for payment of all such transportation reimbursement when it is determined by the local district to be more economically feasible.
19.7 All requests for payment shall be made by the parent or legal guardian or other person who has control of the child to the transportation supervisor responsible for transportation in the district of residence at a time determined by the district but prior to June 5 of any year.
19.8 When reimbursements are made they shall be based on required documentation to support such payment.
19.9 The legal residence for the purpose of these regulations is defined as the residence of the parent, legal guardian or other persons in the state having control of the child with disabilities and with whom the child actually resides.
19.10 School Transportation Aides: With the approval of the Department of Education, a state funded school bus aide may be provided on school buses serving special schools/programs for children with disabilities.
3 DE Reg. 1548 (5/1/00)
20.0 Transportation for Alternative Programs: Costs for transportation shall be paid by the state from funds appropriated for student transportation if transportation is provided by extending already existing routes. Shuttle services that extend existing routes will be allowed. Additional routes established to transport students to and from the Alternative Programs or other special transportation designs will not be paid by the state from the school transportation appropriation and shall be included in the Alternative Program budget and be paid from the state allocation for alternative programs and/or the districts 30% share. Planning committees for these programs shall include the transportation supervisors who will be providing services. In addition, those supervisors must coordinate planning with and submit their transportation plans to the Education Associate for School Transportation at the Department of Education.
21.0 Drugs and Alcohol Testing
21.1.1 Pursuant to 14 Del.C. 2910, this regulation shall apply to the contracting for a program of drug and alcohol testing services necessary to enable public school districts, charter schools, and any person or entity that contracts with a school district or charter school to provide transportation for State public school students, to comply with such drug and alcohol testing requirements applicable to Delaware public school bus drivers as are now, or may hereafter be, imposed by federal law.
21.1.2 School bus aides shall be subject to the same federal and state drug and alcohol testing requirements as school bus drivers. They shall use non-DOT forms, and the employer shall follow the same procedures set forth herein.
21.2 Definitions: The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Alcohol” means the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular exercising weight alcohols, including methyl or isopropyl alcohol.
“CDL” means a commercial drivers license issued pursuant to 21 Del.C. Chapter 26.
“Department”means the Delaware Department of Education.
“DOT” means the United States Department of Transportation.
“Drug”means the controlled substances for which tests are required under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 49 31306 CFR Part 382 and 49 CFR Part 40, and include marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates.
“Employer” means school bus contractors or school districts and charter schools when they directly employ school bus drivers.
“Negative result” means a verified negative drug test result or an alcohol test result lower than the Federal standard as defined by the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 31306, 49 CFR Part 382 and 49 CFR Part 40.
“Positive result” means a verified positive, adulterated, or substituted drug test result, an alcohol test result equal to or greater than the Federal standard or a refusal to take a drug or alcohol test as defined by the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 31306, 49 CFR Part 382 and 49 CFR Part 40.
21.3 Federal Regulations: Employers shall comply with the drug and alcohol testing regulations issued by the Secretary of Transportation of the United States pursuant to 49 U.S.C. ' 31306 and located at 49 CFR Part 382 and 49 CFR Part 40.
21.4 Drug and Alcohol testing program requirements:
21.4.1 The employer shall:
184.108.40.206 Be responsible for compliance with all federal and state regulations;
220.127.116.11 Maintain drug and alcohol testing records for their school bus drivers and aides.
18.104.22.168.1 Documentation of drug and alcohol testing results shall flow directly from the Consortium/Third Party Administrator Medical Review Officer (C/TPA/MRO), as defined by the provisions of 49 CFR Part 382 and 49 CFR Part 40, to the employer. Copies of positive results shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department for accounting and audit purposes.
21.4.2 The Department shall:
22.214.171.124.2 Documentation of results shall be addressed to the individual, or employer, and the transportation supervisors for the school district, charter school or Department so as to ensure confidentiality.
126.96.36.199 Bid the contract for the drug and alcohol testing program;
188.8.131.52 Monitor the drug and alcohol testing program;
21.4.3 Any school bus driver or aide who is not in compliance with federal and state drug and alcohol testing requirements shall not perform driver or aide duties until they have satisfied the federal and state requirements.
184.108.40.206 Any school bus driver or aide who has a positive drug or alcohol test result shall comply with DOT regulations regarding a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) evaluation, treatment and return-to-duty testing before another pre-employment test is allowed.
220.127.116.11 An employer who hires a school bus driver or aide who has previously failed a drug or alcohol test shall ensure that all follow-up drug and/or alcohol testing recommended by the SAP evaluation is implemented.
21.5 Pre-employment Testing
21.5.1 School bus drivers with no CDL and aides with no prior experience must have a negative pre-employment drug test, and the employer must receive a negative result before the prospective employee can operate a school bus or serve as an aide.
21.5.2 Bus drivers with a CDL and school bus aides with past experience shall follow DOT rules and regulations to determine the necessity for pre-employment drug testing.
21.5.3 Employers shall provide Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control (CCF) forms to new school bus drivers and non-DOT forms to school bus aides who shall take the forms to the appropriate collection facility where the driver or aide shall be administered a drug test. Forms shall note the employer and school district or charter school.
21.5.4 Negative results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer.
21.5.5 Positive results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer. Copies of positive results shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department for accounting and audit purposes.
21.5.6 Employers shall notify prospective school bus drivers and aides in writing of a positive result. Copies of this letter shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department.
21.6 Random Testing
21.6.1 Employers shall provide the C/TPA/MRO a quarterly list of eligible drivers and aides to be drug and alcohol tested no later than one week before the testing quarter. The list shall note the primary school district or charter school of the drivers and aides. Copies of the lists shall be provided to the school district or charter school transportation supervisors.
21.6.2 The C/TPA/MRO shall send the employer lists of drivers and aides to be tested by the end of the first week of the quarter.
21.6.3 Employers shall provide CCF and alcohol testing forms to the drivers and aides who shall take the forms and go immediately to the appropriate collection facility where the driver or aide shall be administered a drug test or a drug and alcohol test. Forms shall note the employer and the school district or charter school.
21.6.4 Employers shall complete the required random tests before the end of the calendar quarter.
21.6.5 Negative results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer.
21.6.6 Notification of positive results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer. Copies of the positive results forms shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department for accounting and audit purposes.
21.6.7 Employers shall notify school bus drivers and aides in writing of a positive result. Copies of this letter shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and Department.
21.7 Post-Accident and Reasonable Suspicion Testing
21.7.1 Employers shall provide CCF and alcohol testing forms to the school bus drivers and aides who shall take the forms and go immediately to the appropriate collection facility where the driver or aide shall be administered a drug and/or alcohol test. Forms shall note the employer and school district and charter school.
21.7.2 Negative results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer.
21.7.3 Notification of positive results shall be forwarded from the C/TPA/MRO to the employer. Copies of the positive result form shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department for accounting and audit purposes.
21.7.4 Employers shall notify school bus drivers and aides in writing of a positive result. Copies of this letter shall be sent to the transportation supervisor for the school district or charter school and the Department.
22.0 The nonpublic, nonprofit schools shall be responsible for the administration and supervision of the family transportation allowance provided by the State Department of Education.
22.1 The nonprofit, nonpublic school shall act as the administrator and fiscal agent. If the nonpublic, nonprofit school chooses to use an agent to receive payment other than the nonpublic, nonprofit school, written authorization from the governing board of the nonpublic, nonprofit school, such as the board of trustees or the school board, specifying such agent shall be forwarded to the Education Associate for School Transportation in the Department of Education. The use of an agent to accept payment shall not relieve the nonpublic, nonprofit school from its responsibility to administer and supervise the transportation program, to maintain records, or to submit such reports as may be required.
22.2 Those nonpublic, nonprofit schools with families requesting transportation allowances shall have a Federal ID number.
[ The nonpublic, nonprofit school shall submit the initial transportation form, provided by the Department of Education, no later than August 31st of each year.]
22.3 Transportation allowances shall be made only for those eligible students (Delaware residents attending Delaware schools) who meet residence-to-school proximity guidance of one (1) mile or more for grades K-6 and two (2) miles or more for grades 7-12 and who make application to the nonpublic, nonprofit school for such transportation allowances. These applications for transportation allowances shall be signed by the parent, guardian, or Relative Caregiver and certified by a school administrator. [Families of a student who would not otherwise be eligible for the allowance may receive the allowance if a physician certifies that the student is unable to walk or should not walk from home to school and return.] The responsibility for establishing a claim for transportation allowances rests upon the claimant, and all records of this request shall be kept on file in the nonpublic, nonprofit school office. Such records shall be made available for audit by a representative of the Department of Education or the State Auditors.
22.4 The State shall provide the transportation funds to the nonpublic, nonprofit school or designated agent for eligible families. The family shall direct the nonpublic, nonprofit school or designated agent how the funds are to be dispersed [e.g; some or all of the funds to the parent, guardian or Relative Caregiver for tuition, for school-provided transportation costs, for an allowance, etc.] The nonpublic, nonprofit school shall ensure that its tuition, transportation fees, and other costs of attendance are independent of the allowances.
22.5 Payment shall be made only on the basis of one trip to and one trip from nonpublic, nonprofit school daily. Families who transport more than one child to the same school by private conveyance shall be reimbursed on the basis of the number of trips rather than on the number of children transported. No family shall qualify for more than one reimbursement for students it transports to a single school except for families with two or more children, one of whom is enrolled in a half day kindergarten program. In the event of car pools, each family is entitled to reimbursement, but a family shall not receive more than the annual allowance.
22.6 [The nonpublic, nonprofit school shall submit the initial transportation form, provided by the Department of Education, no later than August 31st of each year.] The nonpublic, nonprofit school or designated agent shall submit the final transportation form provided by the Department of Education no later than October 3rd of each year. All information shall be based on September 30th enrollment and eligibility. After the submission of the final transportation form no further adjustments for eligibility shall be made for the remainder of the school year.
22.7 Upon receipt of the initial form required by the Department of Education the first payment shall be made at the end of September. Upon receipt of the final form the remaining payments will be made at the end of October, January, and April. The school shall return funds not distributed to parents, guardians or Relative Caregivers to the State of Delaware.
8 DE Reg. 541 (10/01/04)