INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that may cause it to reconsider a ruling from the state Court of Appeals that deemed school bus fees violated the state constitution, The Indianapolis Star reports.
Franklin Township Community School Corp. stopped running its buses free of charge in 2011-12 after it was unable to pass a tax-increase referendum to deal with funding issues. In an alternate attempt to address budget woes, it contracted with an outside transportation company, which charged fees of nearly $500 per student to ride the bus. Families filed a class-action lawsuit over the fees.
In the June ruling, the state court cited the state requirement for school corporations to provide transportation as part of a free public education. As previously reported, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided that transportation is part of the public education system, pointing in part to a state mandate for schools to bus homeless, foster-care, special-needs and some private-school students.
The state Supreme Court has not yet set a date to hear the case, according to The Indianapolis Star. After the hearing, it may choose to not take up the case, or it may issue a decision either upholding or overturning the lower court's ruling.
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