HB3 made significant changes to the regular transportation program funding rate that will allow districts to improve students’ access to schools outside of their attendance zone without negatively impacting their transportation allotment.
Before HB3, the maximum effective rate per mile calculation and linear density rate provided a disincentive for districts to provide home to school and school to home transportation to students who attend specialized school models.
-Districts may have bused students to their zoned school and then had students ride additional transportation to a school outside their attendance zone; or
-Parents may have been required to provide all or part of the transportation by dropping off students at zoned schools or other centralized locations.
-Students without transportation would be closed off to specialized opportunities and school models. Students with transportation barriers now have equitable access to specialized school models.
-Specialized school models include: schools with specific academic models like dual language, Montessori, or single-gender schools, schools with specific themes or focuses like STEM or Fine Arts, and magnet schools/magnet programs within schools
The transportation allotment outlined in HB3 provides state funds to school districts for certain transportation of two types of eligible students:
- Special-program students: students with disabilities who require specialized transportation to access their academic programs and other related services, and who meet the eligibility requirements given in statute.
- Regular-program students: students who do not require specialized transportation to access their specialized programs.
School districts may receive transportation allotment funds for four categories of transportation services:
- Regular route services
- Special route services
- Career and technical education (CTE) route services
- Private route services
It is significant to note that costs for transportation are now funded equally between recapture and non-recapture districts.
In addition, HB3 formally expanded the definition of a “Regular Eligible Student” to include students who are facing homelessness according to the criteria found in United States Code, Title 42, §11434a.
Reporting Transportation Information:
In order to calculate the Formula Transition Grant, HB3 requires districts and charter schools calculate using both the linear density effective rate and the $1 per mile rate; however the 2019-2020 regular program transportation allotment will be calculated using the $1 per mile rate.
There are no changes to Foundation School Program transportation reporting due to HB3, and transportation allotment reporting remains on the same schedule for 2019-2020. Actual 2019-2020 transportation operations data is due to TEA by December 1, 2020.