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October 31, 2012  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Calif. bill aims to allow more funds for special-needs busing


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A bill aimed at allowing school districts to receive more federal funds for transportation services for students with disabilities has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill (AB) 2608, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, goes into effect on Jan. 1.

“AB 2608 will enable school districts to draw down more federal funds to serve our most vulnerable students,” Bonilla said. “With these additional federal funds, more resources can be put back into the classroom.”

Currently, state regulations are more restrictive than the federal rules. AB 2608 reportedly aligns state and federal regulations for transportation reimbursement, which Bonilla said will generate millions of dollars statewide for necessary school transportation for students with disabilities.

“Given the state’s fiscal challenges, and the uncertainty surrounding home-to-school transportation funding, this bill is necessary in order to maximize the amount of federal reimbursement school districts can receive,” Bonilla said.

Sherry Purcell, coordinator for the Medi-Cal Reimbursement Program for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), said that the legislation will help her district and others in the state.

“AB 2608 ensures that LAUSD and many school districts in California receive our merited federal reimbursement for transporting our students with disabilities," Purcell said, calling the bill "a creative tool that provides much needed flexibility for school districts."

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