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  • Driver's Education Program reimburses school districts for certain costs of district driver education programs. Section 27-24.4 of the School Code contains the driver education reimbursement formula.
  • School District Transportation (Regular/Vocational/Special Education) provides reimbursement to local education agencies that transport students who reside 1.5 miles or more from their attendance center, attend a vocational program and are transported by their resident district during the school day or transport students with disabilities who have special transportation needs.
  • School Bus Instructor and Driver Training provides school bus driver instructor training, state certification and school bus driver training including the development of the school bus driver training curriculum used in these training courses.​

Information on student transportation in areas with criminal gang activity

A new law that took effect Nov. 30, 2018, expands school districts’ ability to offer free transportation to students who would otherwise walk through areas with a pattern of criminal gang activity. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has issued guidance and resources on implementing Public Act 100-1142. ISBE is providing resources below that include a template letter parents can use to request that their school district review the streets their child(ren) travel to school to determine if a serious safety hazard due to criminal gang activity exists.

 Driver Education

​105 ILCS 5/27-23 and 27-24.2 of the School Code requires each school district which maintains grades 9 through 12 to offer a driver education course which is defined as both classroom and behind-the-wheel.  Both the classroom instruction part and the practice driving part of such driver education course shall be open to a resident or non-resident pupil attending a non-public school in the district wherein the course is offered and to each resident of the district who acquires or holds a currently valid driver's license during the term of the course and who is at least 15 but has not reached 21 years of age, without regard to whether any such person is enrolled in any other course offered in any school that the district operates.

 Pupil Transportation

School boards of community consolidated districts, community unit districts, consolidated districts, consolidated high school districts, optional elementary unit districts, combined high school ‑ unit districts, combined school districts if the combined district includes any district which was previously required to provide transportation, and any newly created elementary or high school districts resulting from a high school ‑ unit conversion, a unit to dual conversion, or a multi‑unit conversion if the newly created district includes any area that was previously required to provide transportation shall provide free transportation for pupils residing at a distance of one and one‑half miles or more from any school to which they are assigned for attendance maintained within the district, except for those pupils for whom the school board shall certify to the State Board of Education that adequate transportation for the public is available.

Each school board may provide free transportation for any pupil residing within 1 1/2 miles from the school attended where conditions are such that walking, either to or from the school to which a pupil is assigned for attendance or to or from a pick-up point or bus stop, constitutes a serious hazard to the safety of the pupil due to either (i) vehicular traffic or rail crossings or (ii) a course or pattern of criminal activity, as defined in Section 10 of the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act. Such transportation shall not be provided if adequate transportation for the public is available. The determination as to what constitutes a serious safety hazard shall be made by the school board, in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding vehicular traffic or rail crossings or in accordance with guidelines regarding a course or pattern of criminal activity, as determined by the local law enforcement agency, in consultation with the State Superintendent of Education.

The Department of Transportation shall review the findings of the school board concerning vehicular traffic or rail crossings and shall approve or disapprove the school board's determination that a serious safety hazard exists within 30 days after the school board submits its findings to the Department of Transportation. The State Board of Education, in consultation with the local law enforcement agency, shall review the findings of the school board concerning a course or pattern of criminal activity and shall approve or disapprove the school board's determination that a serious safety hazard exists within 30 days after the school board submits its findings to the State Board. The school board shall annually review the conditions and determine whether or not the hazardous conditions remain unchanged.

The school board of any school district that provides any school bus or conveyance for transporting pupils to and from the public schools shall afford transportation, without cost, for children who attend any school other than a public school, who reside at least 1 1/2 miles from the school attended, and who reside on or along the highway constituting the regular route of such public school bus or conveyance, such transportation to extend from some point on the regular route nearest or most easily accessible to their homes to and from the school attended, or to or from a point on such regular route which is nearest or most easily accessible to the school attended by such children.

On or before August 15, annually, the board clerk or the secretary of the district shall certify upon forms prescribed by the State Superintendent of Education the district's claim for reimbursement for the school year ended on June 30 next preceding. The district superintendent of schools shall check all transportation claims to ascertain compliance with the prescribed standards and upon his/her approval shall certify not later than August 15 to the State Superintendent of Education the district's report of claims for reimbursement.

Webinars

Student Transportation Claim

Student Transportation Claim Completion Tools

Rules and Statute

Publications/Forms

School Vehicle Use

 Foster Care Transportation

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires that LEAs receiving Title IA funds collaborate with state or local child welfare agencies on local procedures for transportation for students in foster care. This must be accomplished by ensuring that transportation for children in foster care is provided, arranged, and funded. (ESEA section 1112(c)(5)(B)). An LEA must ensure that transportation provided for children in foster care is consistent with the procedures developed by the LEA in collaboration with the State or local child welfare agency under section 1112(c)(5)(B) of the ESEA. These requirements apply whether or not the LEA already provides transportation for children who are not in foster care.

An LEA must ensure that children in foster care needing transportation to the school of origin promptly receive such transportation in a cost-effective manner. (ESEA section 1112(c)(5)(B)(i)). Therefore, the LEA must provide or arrange for adequate and appropriate transportation to and from the school of origin while any disputes are being resolved. To the extent that a charter school is considered an LEA under a State’s charter school law, it must meet the transportation requirements on the same basis as any other LEA.

U.S. Department of Education

 School Bus Instructor and Driver Materials

​School Bus Instructor Trainings 

 View Upcoming Trainings ​​​

School Bus Driver Training Curriculum

Handbook by Section

Stop Arm Violation Survey

 Forms, Policy and Guidance

School Bus Safety Websites

​National

STATE

Seat Belts on School Buses

​Special Populations

​School Personnel

​Parents and Students

Many school districts are looking at the St. Paul, Minn., Public Schools' policy on misbehavior on school buses established in 1995. The policy lists unacceptable behavior and the consequences students face for misbehaving aboard a school bus. The purpose behind school districts developing such policies is that the school bus is an extension of the classroom, and the district is responsible for establishing policies to deal with reporting and follow up on behavioral and disciplinary issues.

St. Paul Model

The St. Paul model breaks down infractions into three categories based on severity: Class I, Class II, and Class III:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Class I:  Students committing Class I offenses face loss of bus privileges for 60 to 90days and mandatory attendance at a Saturday safety class before the students are allowed to ride the bus again. The students' parents or guardians are also required to attend the safety class.​​​​​​
  • Class II:  Under the Class II offenses, the school bus driver files a conduct report with the building principal who then applies the student code of conduct and takes appropriate action. Class II violations also carry the possibility of suspension of bus privileges and mandatory attendance at a Saturday safety class.​​
  • Class III:  The punishment for a Class III offense ranges from a verbal warning to the filing of a bus conduct report with the building principal and appropriate disciplinary action being taken by that principal.​​

Some examples of misbehavior that would be part of such a policy include: a student moving from seat to seat while the bus is in motion; standing on the bus; fighting; sexual misconduct or sexual harassment; carrying a weapon on the bus; flashing a laser pointer light in the drivers' eyes (a new and very dangerous development) etc. Such offenses would be categorized by severity and consequences carried out.

Good conduct is expected of all bus-riding students while waiting for the bus and traveling to and from school or on school related activities and should be acknowledged and encouraged. Parents and/or chaperones should also be included in safety awareness and conduct expected of them on field trips or school related activities.

When developing such a policy, districts should consider meeting with the transportation director and school bus drivers to discuss the types of conduct that occur on school buses, rank them into the three categories, and develop the reporting and follow up procedures. The next step is to distribute the​ policy to students and parents so that everyone is aware of the conduct that is expected of bus-riding students and the consequences for failing to comply with the policy.​​​

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