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Pupil Transportation Aid

Program Description

State pupil transportation aids are determined under the provisions of Wis. Stat. §. 121.58. The appropriation for reimbursement of transporting public and nonpublic school pupils who are actually transported is found in Wis. Stat. §. 20.255(2)(cr). Review the following two documents for important information regarding COVID-19 guidance:

Click below for more information:

Transportation Aid Information

Effective with the 2011-12 school year, any balance remaining after paying all claims for pupil transportation aid shall be apportioned among districts. This apportionment shall be based on each district's share of the total claims. For example, if a district's claim equals 0.5 percent of the total claims, the district shall receive 0.5 percent of any residual balance. Residual balance payments shall be paid in June.

The Pupil Transportation (PI-1547) FY-2021

Guides individuals entering the 'Regular School' ;Summer/Interim' and 'Vocational Programs' data at the renovated portal.

Transportation Aid Worksheet

Includes Regular, Summer/Interim and Vocational.

Transportation Data Reporting FAQs

Provides information related to 13 questions common to pupil transportation reporting.

Pupil Transportation Homepage

Provides general information on pupil transportation beyond transportation aid.

Reimbursement Rates

School districts that furnish transportation to and from public and nonpublic schools are entitled to receive state aid at the following rates:

Distance in Miles Regular Year Summer/Interim
Less Than 2 Miles (hazardous area) $15/pupil --
Over 2-5 miles $35/pupil $10/pupil
Over 5 up to 8 $55/pupil $20/pupil
Over 8 up to 12 $110/pupil $20/pupil
Over 12 $365/pupil* $20/pupil

Distances are measured from the pupil's residence to the school attended, following the shortest commonly traveled route. Half payment, under the Summer/Interim report, is made for pupils actually transported at least once and enrolled less than 16 days (summer and interim sessions). Pupil transportation aid for the current year is based on the number of children transported during the prior school year.

The aid payment for 2020-2021 school year was calculated on a total of 465,429 children reported for the 2019-2020 school year as eligible for aid reimbursement. Pupil transportation aid in 2020-2021 was calculated at 100 percent of eligibility because aid eligibility was less than the aid appropriation. This is the sixth year with Independent Charter schools receiving Pupil Transportation Aid.

Who Receives Assistance

School districts can receive this aid. Pupil transportation aid is based on student ridership in the previous year. School districts report ridership in the School Finance Reporting Portal. (Public View Submitted District Data - portal access)

Very few districts provide transportation to pupils enrolled full-time, at the district's expense, in a vocational education, occupational preparation program at a technical college or participate in a 66.0301 vocational program per s. 121.54(5), Wis. Stats.  Please contact the School Financial Services team with any related questions.

Amount of Funds Available

The statewide dollar amount for pupil transportation aid is appropriated by the legislature. Aid eligibility for each district is determined based on riders from the previous year multiplied by the flat amount per pupil in each distance category. The WUFAR chart of accounts requires that this revenue be recorded in Fund 10, Source 612. Payment date is the last Monday of January. The State of Wisconsin Pupil Transportation aid allocation for 2020-2021 as of July 22, 2020 continues to be $24,000,000/year.

Independent Charter Schools

The Pupil Transportation (PI-1547) 2020 Update for Independent Charter Schools guides school staff in collecting and entering pupil ridership data.

2017 Wisconsin Act 59 (signed into law on September 21, 2017)

This act modified the Pupil Transportation Aid in multiple ways and impacted the aid payment dispersed starting with the 2017-2018 school year:

  • The State of Wisconsin increased the Pupil Transportation aid allocation by $49,000, resulting in a total allocation of $24,000,000/year that was paid out in the 2017-2018 school year, covering the modifications listed.
  • A half payment for a student rider during the regular school year who rode at least once and was enrolled less than 91 days was eliminated.
  • A student rider whose residence is over 12 miles from the school of attendance qualified for a reimbursement rate of $365, an increase of $65 from the rate paid in the spring of 2017.
  • A summer session or an interim session student rider whose residence was over 2 miles and less than 5 miles from their school of attendance qualified for a reimbursement rate of $10 in place of $4.
  • A summer session or an interim session student rider whose residence was over 5 miles from their school of attendance qualified for a reimbursement rate of $20 in place of $6.
For questions about this information, contact (608) 267-9114