2008 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 684<br /> – Public schools, transp costs


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Bill Status

H0684..........................................................by EDUCATION
PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING - TRANSPORTATION - Amends existing law relating to
public schools to delete an allowable cost on which the transportation
support program is based; to increase the state's share of reimbursable
transportation costs of the transportation support program; to revise a
criterion to qualify for a hardship bus run; and to increase the state's
share of transportation support costs.

03/25    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
    Rpt prt - to 2nd rdg
03/26    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/27    3rd rdg - PASSED - 67-0-3
      AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barrett, Bayer, Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black,
      Block, Bock, Boe, Bolz, Bowers, Brackett, Bradford, Chadderdon,
      Chavez, Chew, Clark, Collins, Crane, Durst, Eskridge, Hagedorn, Hart,
      Harwood, Henbest, Henderson, Jaquet, Killen, King, Kren, Lake,
      LeFavour, Loertscher, Luker, Marriott, Mathews, Mortimer, Nielsen,
      Nonini, Pasley-Stuart, Patrick, Pence, Raybould, Ringo, Roberts,
      Ruchti, Rusche, Sayler, Schaefer, Shepherd(02), Shepherd(08),
      Shirley, Shively, Smith(30), Smith(24), Snodgrass, Stevenson, Thayn,
      Thomas, Trail, Vander Woude, Wills, Wood(27), Wood(35), Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Labrador, McGeachin, Moyle
    Floor Sponsor - Thayn
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/27    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Educ
03/28    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/31    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
    Rls susp - Ret'd to Educ

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-ninth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2008


                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 684

                                   BY EDUCATION COMMITTEE

  1                                        AN ACT

  8    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

  9        SECTION 1.  That Section 33-1006, Idaho Code, be, and the same  is  hereby
 10    amended to read as follows:

 11        33-1006.  TRANSPORTATION SUPPORT PROGRAM. (1) The state board of education
 12    shall  determine  what  costs  of  transporting pupils, including maintenance,
 13    operation and depreciation of basic vehicles, insurance, payments  under  con-
 14    tract with other public transportation providers whose vehicles used to trans-
 15    port pupils comply with federal transit administration regulations, "bus test-
 16    ing,"  49 C.F.R. part 665, and any revision thereto, as provided in subsection
 17    (4)(d) of this section, or other state department of education  approved  pri-
 18    vate transportation providers, salaries of drivers, and any other costs, shall
 19    be  allowable  in  computing the transportation support program of school dis-
 20    tricts.
 21        (2)  Any costs associated with the addition of vehicle features  that  are
 22    not  part  of the basic vehicle shall not be allowable in computing the trans-
 23    portation support program of school  districts.  A  basic  vehicle  is  hereby
 24    defined  as  the cost of the vehicle without optional features, plus the addi-
 25    tion of essential safety features and features necessary for  the  transporta-
 26    tion of pupils with disabilities.
 27        (3)  Each  school  district shall maintain records and make reports as are
 28    required for the purposes of this section.
 29        (4)  The transportation support program of  a  school  district  shall  be
 30    based upon the allowable costs of:
 31        (a)  Transporting  public  school pupils one and one-half (1 1/2) miles or
 32        more to school;
 33        (b)  Transporting pupils less than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles as  pro-
 34        vided  in section 33-1501, Idaho Code, when approved by the state board of
 35        education;
 36        (c)  The costs of payments when transportation is not furnished,  as  pro-
 37        vided in section 33-1503, Idaho Code;
 38        (d)  The  transportation  program  for grades six (6) through twelve (12),
 39        upon the costs of payments pursuant to a contract  with  other  public  or
 40        private  transportation  providers  entered  into  as  provided in section
 41        33-1510, Idaho Code, if the school district  establishes  that  the  reim-
 42        bursable  costs  of transportation under the contract are equal to or less
 43        than the costs for school buses;


  1        (e)  The costs of providing transportation to  and  from  approved  school
  2        activities as may be approved by rules of the state board of education;
  3        (f)  The  employer's share of contributions to the public employee retire-
  4        ment system and to social security.
  5        (5)  The state's share of the  transportation  support  program  shall  be
  6    eighty-fiveseven  and eighty-five hundredths percent (857.85%) of reimbursable
  7    transportation costs of the district incurred during the immediately preceding
  8    state fiscal year, provided the reimbursable costs do not exceed  one  hundred
  9    three  percent  (103%)  of the statewide average reimbursable cost per mile or
 10    the state average reimbursable cost  per  student  rider,  whichever  is  more
 11    advantageous  to  the school district. If a school district's costs exceed the
 12    one hundred three percent (103%) limit when computed by the more  advantageous
 13    of  the  two  (2)  methods,  that  school  district  shall  be  reimbursed  at
 14    eighty-fiveseven  and  eighty-five hundredths percent (857.85%) of the maximum
 15    limit for whichever method is more favorable to the school district. A  school
 16    district  may  appeal  the application of the one hundred three percent (103%)
 17    limit on reimbursable costs to the state board of education, which may  estab-
 18    lish  for that district a new percentile limit for reimbursable costs compared
 19    to the statewide average, which is  higher  than  one  hundred  three  percent
 20    (103%).  In doing so, the state board of education may set a new limit that is
 21    greater than one hundred three percent (103%), but is less than the percentile
 22    limit requested by the school district. However, the  percentage  increase  in
 23    the  one  hundred  three percent (103%) cap shall not exceed the percentage of
 24    the district's bus runs that qualify as a hardship bus run, pursuant  to  this
 25    subsection.  Any  costs  above the new level established by the state board of
 26    education shall not be reimbursed. Such a change shall only be granted by  the
 27    state  board  of education for hardship bus runs. To qualify as a hardship bus
 28    run, such bus run shall display uniquely  difficult  geographic  circumstances
 29    and meet at least two (2) of the following criteria:
 30        (a)  The  number  of  student  riders  per mile is less than fifty percent
 31        (50%) of the statewide average number of student riders per mile, over any
 32        single, continuous segment of the bus run that includes  at  least  ninety
 33        percent (90%) of the miles driven on the bus run;
 34        (b)  Less  than  a  majority of the miles on the bus run are by paved sur-
 35        face, concrete or asphalt, road;
 36        (c)  Over ten percent (10%) of the miles driven on the bus run are a  five
 37        percent (5%) slope or greater.
 38    The legislative audits section of the legislative services office shall review
 39    cap  increases  granted  by the state board of education pursuant to this sec-
 40    tion, and shall include findings in the board's regular audit report  for  any
 41    instances  in  which  such increases failed to meet the standards set forth in
 42    this subsection.
 43        (6)  School districts that are unable to absorb the impact of the  limita-
 44    tion  on reimbursable expenses, through either efficiencies or the utilization
 45    of fund balances, may apply to the state board of education to receive a  loan
 46    of  moneys,  not to exceed the amount of state funds lost through the applica-
 47    tion of the limitation on reimbursable expenses,  from  the  public  education
 48    stabilization  fund. Any school district receiving such a loan shall cause its
 49    reimbursement of state transportation moneys to be reduced by a like amount in
 50    the subsequent fiscal year, and the moneys so reduced shall  be  deposited  in
 51    the public education stabilization fund.
 52        (7)  Beginning  on  July  1,  2005, any eligible home-based public virtual
 53    school may claim transportation reimbursement for the prior fiscal year's cost
 54    of providing educational services to students. In order to be eligible, such a
 55    school shall have at least one (1) average daily attendance divisor,  pursuant


  1    to  section 33-1002, Idaho Code, that is greater than the median divisor shown
  2    for any category of pupils, among the actual divisors listed. For the purposes
  3    of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this subsection  (7),  "education  provider"
  4    means  the home-based public virtual school or an entity that has legally con-
  5    tracted with the home-based public virtual school  to  supply  education  ser-
  6    vices. Reimbursable costs shall be limited to the costs of:
  7        (a)  Providing  an internet connection service between the student and the
  8        education provider, not including the cost of telephone service;
  9        (b)  Providing electronic and computer equipment used by  the  student  to
 10        transmit  educational  material between the student and the education pro-
 11        vider;
 12        (c)  Providing a toll-free telephone service for students  to  communicate
 13        with the education provider;
 14        (d)  Providing  education-related,  face-to-face visits by representatives
 15        of the home-based public virtual school, with such reimbursements  limited
 16        to  the  mileage costs set for state employee travel by the state board of
 17        examiners; and
 18        (e)  Any actual pupil transportation costs that would be  reimbursable  if
 19        claimed by a school district.
 20    The  total  reimbursement  for such home-based public virtual schools shall be
 21    exempt from the statewide average cost per mile limitations of  this  section.
 22    The  state's share of reimbursable costs shall be eighty-fiveseven and eighty-
 23    five hundredths percent (857.85%), subject to the statewide cost  per  student
 24    rider  provisions  of this section. For the purposes of such home-based public
 25    virtual school, the number of student riders shall be the same as  the  number
 26    of pupils in average daily attendance.

 27        SECTION  2.  That  Section 33-5208, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 28    amended to read as follows:

 29        33-5208.  PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Except as  provided  in
 30    subsection (8) of this section, from the state educational support program the
 31    state  department  of education shall make the following apportionment to each
 32    public charter school for each fiscal year based on attendance figures submit-
 33    ted in a manner and time as required by the department of education:
 34        (1)  Per student support. Computation of support  units  for  each  public
 35    charter  school  shall be calculated as if it were a separate school according
 36    to the schedules in section 33-1002(4), Idaho Code, except that public charter
 37    schools with fewer than one hundred (100) secondary ADA shall use a divisor of
 38    twelve (12) and the minimum units shall  not  apply,  and  no  public  charter
 39    school  shall  receive  an  increase in support units that exceeds the support
 40    units it received in the prior year by more than thirty (30). Funding from the
 41    state educational support program shall be equal  to  the  total  distribution
 42    factor,  plus the salary-based apportionment provided in chapter 10, title 33,
 43    Idaho Code. Provided however, any public charter school that is formed by  the
 44    conversion  of  an  existing  traditional  public  school  shall  be  assigned
 45    divisors,  pursuant to section 33-1002, Idaho Code, that are no lower than the
 46    divisors of the school district in which  the  traditional  public  school  is
 47    located, for each category of pupils listed.
 48        (2)  Special  education.  For  each student enrolled in the public charter
 49    school who is entitled to special education services, the  state  and  federal
 50    funds from the exceptional child education program for that student that would
 51    have  been  apportioned  for  that student to the school district in which the
 52    public charter school is located.
 53        (3)  Alternative school support. Public charter schools may qualify  under


  1    the provisions of sections 33-1002 and 33-1002C, Idaho Code, provided the pub-
  2    lic  charter  school  meets the necessary statutory requirements, and students
  3    qualify for attendance at an alternative school as provided  by  rule  of  the
  4    state board of education.
  5        (4)  Transportation  support.  Support shall be paid to the public charter
  6    school  as provided in chapter 15, title 33, Idaho Code, and section  33-1006,
  7    Idaho  Code.  Each  public charter school shall furnish the department with an
  8    enrollment count as of the first Friday in November, of public charter  school
  9    students  living more than one and one-half (1 1/2) miles from the school. For
 10    charter schools in the initial year of operation, the petition shall include a
 11    proposal for transportation services with an estimated first  year  cost.  The
 12    state department of education is authorized to include in the annual appropri-
 13    ation  to the charter school eighty percent (80%) of the estimated transporta-
 14    tion  cost.  The  final  appropriation   payment   in   July   shall   reflect
 15    eighty-fiveseven  and  eighty-five  hundredths percent (857.85%) of the actual
 16    cost.
 17        (5)  Payment schedule. The state department of education is authorized  to
 18    make  an  advance  payment  of  twenty-five  percent (25%) of a public charter
 19    school's estimated annual apportionment for its first year of  operation,  and
 20    each  year  thereafter,  provided the public charter school has an increase of
 21    student population in any given year of  twenty  (20)  students  or  more,  to
 22    assist the school with initial start-up costs or payroll obligations.
 23        (a)  For a state public charter school to receive the advance payment, the
 24        school  shall  submit its anticipated fall membership for each grade level
 25        to the state department of education by June 1.
 26        (b)  Using the figures provided by the public charter  school,  the  state
 27        department  of education shall determine an estimated annual apportionment
 28        from which the amount of the advance payment shall be calculated.  Advance
 29        payment  shall  be made to the school on or after July 1 but no later than
 30        July 31.
 31        (c)  All subsequent payments, taking into  account  the  one-time  advance
 32        payment  made for the first year of operation, shall be made to the public
 33        charter school in the same manner as other traditional public  schools  in
 34        accordance with the provisions of section 33-1009, Idaho Code.
 35    A  public  charter school shall comply with all applicable fiscal requirements
 36    of law, except that the following provisions shall not be applicable to public
 37    charter schools: section 33-1003B, Idaho Code, relating to guaranteed  minimum
 38    support; that portion of section 33-1004, Idaho Code, relating to reduction of
 39    the  administrative and instructional staff allowance when there is a discrep-
 40    ancy between the number allowed and the number actually employed; and  section
 41    33-1004E, Idaho Code, for calculation of district staff indices.
 42        (6)  Nothing  in  this  chapter shall be construed to prohibit any private
 43    person or organization from providing funding or other financial assistance to
 44    the establishment or operation of a public charter school.
 45        (7)  Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a public  charter  school  from
 46    applying for federal grant moneys.
 47        (8)  (a) For  the  period  July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2005, all public
 48        virtual schools shall be assigned divisors, pursuant to  section  33-1002,
 49        Idaho  Code,  that  are  no  higher than the median divisor shown for each
 50        respective category of pupils, among the  possible  divisors  listed,  for
 51        each  respective  category of pupils that contains more than one (1) divi-
 52        sor. If there is an even number of possible divisors listed for a particu-
 53        lar category of pupils, then the lesser of the  two  (2)  median  divisors
 54        shall  be  used.  For  the period July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007, all
 55        public virtual schools shall be assigned  divisors,  pursuant  to  section


  1        33-1002,  Idaho  Code,  that are no higher than the second highest divisor
  2        shown, among the possible divisors listed, for each respective category of
  3        pupils that contains more than one (1)  divisor.  The  divisor  provisions
  4        contained  herein  shall  only    be applicable to the number of pupils in
  5        average daily attendance in such public virtual  schools  for  the  period
  6        July  1,  2003,  through June 30, 2004. If the number of pupils in average
  7        daily attendance in any particular category of  pupils  increases,  during
  8        the  period  July  1,  2004, through June 30, 2005, to a number above that
  9        which existed in the prior fiscal year, then those  additional  pupils  in
 10        average  daily  attendance shall be assigned the divisor, pursuant to sec-
 11        tion 33-1002, Idaho Code, that would have otherwise been assigned  to  the
 12        school  district  or  public  charter  school had this section not been in
 13        force.
 14        (b)  Each student in attendance at a public virtual school shall be funded
 15        based upon either the actual hours of attendance  in  the  public  virtual
 16        school  on a flexible schedule, or the percentage of coursework completed,
 17        whichever is more advantageous to the school, up to the maximum of one (1)
 18        full-time equivalent student.
 19        (c)  All federal educational funds shall be administered  and  distributed
 20        to  public  charter  schools,  including public virtual schools, that have
 21        been designated by the state board  of  education  as  a  local  education
 22        agency (LEA), as provided in section 33-5203(7), Idaho Code.
 23        (9)  Nothing  in  this  section  prohibits  separate face-to-face learning
 24    activities or services.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                      STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                            RS 18157

This legislation revises Idaho Code as it relates to state
reimbursement for pupil transportation costs, by removing state
transportation reimbursement for field trips while simultaneously
increasing the state match for home-to-school and school-to-home by
a commensurate amount of money, for a statewide net impact of zero. 
It also clarifies how hardship bus runs are defined.

                          FISCAL NOTE


Name: Jason Hancock, State Department of Education 
Phone: 332-6800

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                         H 684