There has been a shortage of bus drivers for several years now and the pandemic has made this situation worse. Districts across the Nation are dealing with an average increase of 30% in transportation costs and bus driver shortages leading to reduced services such as route cuts and removal of bus stops. The cost of transporting a student to a private school or transporting a student that may need special accommodations can be exorbitant. In some of these cases, it can be cheaper and more effective to have a parent transport their child. Below are some considerations with having a parent provide transportation.
- A school district must have a formal pupil transportation contract in order to reimburse a parent for transporting their child.
- The vehicle being used to transport the child must be inspected under DOT law
- The district must send a letter to DMV Driver Certification Unit informing them that the district has entered into a contract and is requesting exemption from Article 19-A of Vehicle and Traffic Law
- The contract may involve issuing a competitive bid if the total of all your new pupil transportation contracts for the school year exceeds $20,000.
- The contract must be submitted to SED
- Only a parent can transport their child. Grandparents, aunt, uncles, or siblings are not permitted to as per section 8 NYCRR 156 – State Education Department §156.3 Safety regulations for school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and pupils.
- Reimbursement is based upon your district-approved mileage rate for staff or the IRS mileage rate, plus tolls for up to 2 round trips. Other costs such as lost time, wages, inconvenience, or insurance will not be aidable
Shari Diamond, CIA
Shari has been with Cerini & Associates, LLP since 2008 where she works primarily with the firm’s school district clients providing internal audit and claims audit services. She has over twenty years’ experience performing internal audits, risk assessments, and compliance reviews, as well as recommending processes to strengthen the internal controls environment while increasing efficiencies. Her prior experience at PWC and Northrop Grumman included performing Information Technology audits.
Garrett is a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit staff where he works with our nonprofit clients. He also focuses his efforts on supporting and aiding the Audit Department in day to day obligations. Garrett has experience in accounting, auditing, and claims auditing. Garrett’s knowledge and experience allows him to provide specific services including system testing and analysis, as well as claims audit functions.