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July 05, 2012  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Funding formula for Pa. school bus service stays


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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Funding provided to districts for school bus transportation will remain unchanged under the state’s final 2012-13 education budget.  

A previous version of the budget included a provision to provide school bus transportation funding with a new student achievement block grant. The block grant would have replaced the current reimbursement funding formula that the Department of Education uses.

As SBF previously reported, the Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) had concerns about the proposal.

For instance, the association felt that inclusion of school transportation funding in the block grant would have jeopardized student safety by prompting some districts to reduce or eliminate bus service.

It also said that many small, family-owned companies that provide bus service to school districts would have been “forced out of business, resulting in the potential loss of thousands of jobs.”

Given this, PSBA said it was pleased with the recent outcome on the issue.

“We thank our policymakers for looking long and hard at the long-term implications of ending dedicated funding for student transportation,” said Selina Pittenger, executive director of the PSBA. “The formula for calculating funding for school transportation costs has proven effective in providing safe and efficient bus transportation for Pennsylvania students.”

Pittenger went on to say that school bus transportation in the state is a reliable and cost-effective means of transporting children without placing additional burdens on parents and working families.


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I would like to see dialogue between the State and the School Bus Association addressing the complicated formula and time consuming process needed to generate the state report for reimbursement. Perhaps a simpler formula could be used than the current system. I would like to keep the averaging of students riding the bus so buses are used in an efficient and cost effective manner. Also, the age of the bus is important to keep a fleet that is equipped with modern technology and the newest safety features. Mileage sheets should become a thing of the past. Once a route is set up,unless there is road construction, a bus travels the same roads from day 1 to 180. The state should offer incentives or increased reimbursement for fleets switching to natural gas or electric buses. Jim Pearson Transportation Director Seneca Valley School District

Jim Pearson    |    Jul 17, 2012 05:56 PM

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