Helena Public Schools has elected to provide student transportation services as allowed by the Montana Codes Annotated (MCA 20-10-121).
20-10-121. Duty of trustees to provide transportation — types of transportation — bus riding time limitation.
(1) The trustees of a district may furnish transportation to an eligible student who attends a school of the district or has been granted permission to attend a school outside of the district. Whenever the trustees of a district provide transportation for an eligible student, the trustees shall provide all eligible student of the district with transportation. The trustees shall furnish transportation when directed to do so by the county transportation committee and when that direction is upheld by the superintendent of public instruction.
(2) The tendering of a contract to the parent or guardian under which the district would pay the parent or guardian for individually transporting the pupil or pupils fulfills the district’s obligation to furnish transportation for an eligible student. The parent or guardian of an eligible student may provide transportation or arrange for transportation for the parent’s or guardian’s child at the parent’s or guardian’s own expense to any district willing to accept the child.
(3) The type of transportation provided by a district may be:
(a) by a school bus; or
(b) by individual transportation*:
(i) paying the parent or guardian for individually transporting the pupil;
(ii) paying board and room reimbursements;
(iii) providing supervised correspondence study; or
(iv) providing supervised home study.
(4) When the parent or guardian of an elementary pupil consents to a trip of over 1 hour, the trustees may require the eligible student to ride a school bus for more than 1 hour each trip.
Application for individual transportation is available to a Helena Public School District student that meets all of the following criteria:
- Contracts for students who live over the three miles from the school or bus stop will receive a state/county reimbursement rate calculated with the same formula used for all other students.
- The contract must be completed in its entirety, signed by the parent, legal guardian or emancipated minor and sign by the chairman of the board of trustees on or before the fourth Monday in June proceeding the school year for which the transportation is being provided. The signed contract is the authorization of the board of trustees to budget for that transportation expenditure necessary to meet the obligation imposed on the district by the contract.
- A completed W-9 and Individual Contract are due to the business office before payment can be issued.
- After the end of the 2nd Quarter
- After the end of the 4th Quarter
- When making an individual transportation contract with the district, the parent, legal guardian or emancipated minor must sign an affidavit attesting to the place of residence of the student. No person other than the student’s parent, legal guardian or an emancipated minor may enter into an individual contract for transportation or receive the transportation reimbursement. A licensed driver in an insured vehicle must provide transportation.
- Administrative Rule 10.7.116 Isolation allowed to increase the Individual Transportation Rate (1) When the board of trustees of a school district establishes a program of “isolated transportation payments” – that is, increase in the individual transportation rates due to isolation – individual families entering into the transportation contracts with the board of trustees may apply for an “isolated” or increased individual rate of pay. The following factors should be considered:
- The student lives at least seven miles from school and no school bus is provided, or lives at least seven miles from the bus stop; and roads are not graded for at least one half of the distance from home to the school or bus stop, and roads present considerable difficulty in bad weather, and special equipment ordinarily is required; and the county transportation committee determines that hardship (physical and/or financial) exists.
Individual and Isolated Daily Rate Daily Rate =
[(one-way mileage-3miles) X
number of trips per day] X .35
Isolation factor is the daily rate X 1.5
- Reimbursement is made only for the portion of the trip that a student is in the car.
- If the distance from the student’s home to the nearest bus stop or school decreases during the term of the individual contract, the district must amend the contract to reflect the lower mileage and must notify the superintendent of public instruction and the county superintendent of the date and lowered mileage became effective. The superintendent of public instruction will recalculate the daily reimbursement rate and will assign a new contract number to the amended contract. The school district must claim the number of days that transportation occurs at each distance on the TR-5 School District Claim for Individual Transportation Reimbursement Form.
Sited from the Helena Schools Handbook helenaschools.org/about/handbooks/
And the Pupil Transportation information pages on www.opi.mt.gov