2006 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Representative Brown
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-151-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS TO REIMBURSE TEMPORARY OR SUBSTITUTE SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS FOR THE COSTS REQUIRED FOR A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE AND TO AUTHORIZE THE SPECIAL STATE SCHOOLS ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO REIMBURSE SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS FOR SUCH COST; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-151-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-151-85. (1) The amount to be allotted by the State Board of Education for transportation shall be determined as follows:
The State Department of Education shall calculate the cost of transportation in school districts by ascertaining the average cost per pupil in average daily attendance of transported pupils in school districts classified in different density groups as determined by the State Department of Education. Based on these calculations, the State Department of Education shall develop a scale for determining the allowable cost per pupil in different density groups, which scale shall provide greatest allowance per pupil transported in school districts with lowest densities and smallest allowance per pupil in school districts with highest densities. The total allowance in the adequate education program for transported children for any school district for the current year shall be the average daily attendance of the transported children for the nine (9) months of the prior year, multiplied by the allowance per transported pupil as provided herein. However, the State Department of Education is hereby authorized and empowered to make proper adjustments in allotments, under rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, in cases where major changes in the number of children in average daily attendance transported occur from one (1) year to another as a result of changes or alterations in the boundaries of school districts, a change in or relocation of attendance centers, or for other reasons which would result in major decrease or increase in the number of children in average daily attendance transported during the current school year as compared with the preceding year. Moreover, the State Board of Education is hereby authorized and empowered to make such payments to all districts and/or university-based programs as deemed necessary in connection with transporting exceptional children as defined in Section 37-23-3. The State Board of Education shall establish and implement all necessary rules and regulations to allot transportation payments to university-based programs. In developing density classifications under the provisions hereof, the State Department of Education may give consideration to the length of the route, the sparsity of the population, the lack of adequate roads, highways and bridges, and the presence of large streams or other geographic obstacles. In addition to funds allotted under the above provisions, funds shall be allotted to each school district that transports students from their assigned school or attendance center to classes in an approved vocational-technical center at a rate per mile not to exceed the average statewide cost per mile of school bus transportation during the preceding year exclusive of bus replacement. All such transportation must have prior approval by the State Department of Education.
(2) The average daily attendance of transported children shall be reported by the school district in which such children attend school. If children living in a school district are transported at the expense of such school district to another school district, the average daily attendance of such transported children shall be deducted by the State Department of Education from the aggregate average daily attendance of transported children in the school district in which they attend school and shall be added to the aggregate average daily attendance of transported children of the school district from which they come for the purpose of calculating transportation allotments. However, such deduction shall not be made for the purpose of calculating adequate education program pupil-based funding.
(3) The State Department of Education shall include in the allowance for transportation for each school district an amount for the replacement of school buses or the purchase of new buses, which amount shall be calculated upon the estimated useful life of all school buses being used for the transportation of children in such school district, whether such buses be publicly or privately owned.
(4) The school boards of all districts operating school bus transportation are authorized and directed to establish a salary schedule for school bus drivers. No school district shall be entitled to receive the funds herein allotted for transportation unless it pays each of its nonstudent adult school bus drivers paid from such transportation allotments a minimum of One Hundred Ninety Dollars ($190.00) per month. In addition, local school boards may compensate school bus drivers, to include temporary or substitute bus drivers, for actual expenses incurred when acquiring an initial commercial license or any renewal of a commercial license in order to drive a school bus. In addition, local school boards may compensate school bus drivers, to include temporary or substitute bus drivers, for expenses, not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), when acquiring an initial medical exam or any renewal of a medical exam, in order to qualify for a commercial driver's license.
(5) The State Board of Education shall be authorized and empowered to use such part of the funds appropriated for transportation in the adequate education fund as may be necessary to finance driver training courses as provided for in Section 37-41-1, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(6) The State Board of Education, acting through the Department of Education, may compensate school bus drivers, to include temporary or substitute bus drivers, who are providing driving services to the various state operated schools, such as the Mississippi School for the Deaf, the Mississippi School for the Blind, the Mississippi School of the Arts, the Mississippi School for Math and Science and any other similar state operated schools, for actual expenses incurred when acquiring an initial commercial license or any renewal of a commercial license in order to drive a school bus, to include the expense, not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), of acquiring an initial medical exam or any renewal of a medical exam in order to qualify for a commercial driver's license.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.