October 9, 2017
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
Subject: Transportation for Students Displaced Due to Hurricane Harvey
For the 2017–2018 school year, any district or charter school affected by hurricane Harvey may submit any mileage transporting students who live within two miles of their school as hazardous mileage, eligible for funding if the street conditions were made hazardous due to the hurricane. Official board action will not be required to expand the hazardous service area and eligibility for receiving transportation funding will begin immediately on provision of the service. The existing limit of 10 percent of the district’s regular transportation allotment will continue to apply.
The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires school districts to provide transportation for homeless students to the students’ school of origin.
Mileage travelled on routes to transport homeless students to their school of origin is eligible for transportation funding through the Foundation School Program (FSP). For the purposes of Hurricane Harvey and supporting impacted students, all mileage travelled outside of a district’s boundaries will also be eligible for FSP funding. Please note that all current statutes in Chapter 41 and Chapter 42 of the Texas Education Code still apply when calculating FSP funding, including the transportation allotment. Districts whose local share of their Tier 1 entitlement equals or exceeds the entitlement (including Chapter 41 districts) will not realize a net increase in revenue through increases in the transportation allotment.
Additionally, per ESSA Title I, funds reserved for homeless children and youth may be used for services not ordinarily provided by Title I including transportation to the school of origin.
Local education agencies that receive the McKinney-Vento Texas Support for Homeless Education Program (TEXSHEP) grant may also use grant funds for excess transportation costs if they are included in the budgeted project plan.
If homeless students are residing outside the district where they normally attend school, the school district of origin and the school district in which the homeless child or youth is residing must agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child with transportation to and from the school of origin. This includes districts that are currently closed. If the school districts cannot agree upon a method, the districts will share responsibility and costs for transportation equally. See McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, §722(g)(1)(J)(iii)(I-II).
Districts that are providing inter-district transportation for non-homeless students whose schools are closed due to Hurricane Harvey will also be eligible for transportation funding through the FSP for the miles travelled.
Special Education Students
Special Education students whose Individual Education Program (IEP) requires the provision of special transportation must continue to be provided with special transportation even if they are attending another district and require transportation from their district of residence. All mileage travelled transporting these students is eligible for FSP funding including mileage travelled outside of a district’s boundaries.
For questions related to transportation for students affected by the hurricane, please contact:
Director of State Funding