Students placed in out-of-home care have rights to transportation to their school of origin for as long as they remain placed in out-of-home care (including students attending public preschools or public charter schools). These rights apply even if the local education agency (LEA) does not offer transportation to other students.
Requirements under ESSA
LEAs and child welfare agencies (CWAs) must collaborate to develop and implement clear, written procedures to ensure a student’s transportation to the school of origin. These procedures must include:
- How transportation to the school of origin will be provided, arranged, and funded.
- That transportation will be provided promptly and in a cost-effective manner.
- The responsibilities for additional costs. Additional costs are the excess costs above what the LEA would normally pay to transport a student to their school.
- That transportation rights continue during any dispute resolution process.
The Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Children and Families have created joint guidance to address issues such as funding and sharing of additional costs between local agencies. Also provided are model procedures and a transportation plan template. Use of these forms is not required but might assist agencies as they develop procedures unique to their localities.
American Bar Association (ABA)
The ABA’s Legal Center for Foster Care & Education has also developed helpful guidance and model procedures:
20 U.S.C. § 6312(c)(5)