School Bus Issues

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101 Archives' started by nvts, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Our kids are in a 12 month program in the NYC school system. Every year it's the same thing: we go from a 25-30 minute bus ride to 1 hour and 10-15 mins. for the younger guy. He ends up regressing and I spend literally 15-20 hours fighting every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Department of Education. The bus route usually gets corrected by the 5th week of the 6 week summer session and we spend the next 2 mos. (Sept. & Oct.) fighting the same thing.

    Does anyone know of any rules or regs. that address these issues or who advocates for shorter commutes? In NYC, they can schedules a bus ride up to 90 minutes in Borough (and up to 2 hrs. out of borough) for kids as young as pre-k age. Can you imagine being diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, bipolar, etc. and sitting on a bus for 1.5-2 hrs?

    AAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!

    Thanks!
    Beth :mad:
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    An 1 1/2 - 2 hour daily commute is absurd for any student IMO.

    You and the other IEP Committee Members can address this issue in the IEP. Riding the bus is a related service (transportation). Transportation can be by taxi, private car, medi-vac, etc. Or the IEP could site something to the effect of "bus transportation not to exceed one hour round-trip commutes."

    I don't recall seeing this particular issue address in our State regs on special ed, but States are allowed to make rules and regs more favorable to Sp Ed students. The Fed regs (IDEA) are the minimum. You might check your State regs to see if time of commute is addressed.
     
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Active Member

    Gfg is in "social development" classes of Special Ed (Houston). I told them he MUST be on a bus with a short commute (both ways), or he was going to likely cause trouble for everyone; ie: himself, bus driver, other students. He'll start intermediate school in the fall and his IEP states he must have this accommodation. The new classroom teacher will make the decision as to when he thinks gfg will be able to handle the crowds on the bus, as well as the longer commute. Don't let them kid you, there IS such a thing!!
     
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    As far as I know, there is no statute on travel time. However, there was at one time an OSEP memo that said a bus trip one-way of an hour or less is "reasonable." I think what is reasonable depends on the student. As a H.O. I once ordered a SD to "find another way" other than transporting a 7 year old deaf, autistic child in full restraint for 75 minutes in good weather, no traffic. Good weather and no traffic is not a frequent occurrence in the Chicago area in winter. The parents were objecting to the transportation (among other things) and I found for them easily.

    Martie
     
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    nvts, the last paragraph of will give some leads for research on travel time if you want to pursue it.


    Transportation is a related service for special education students when it is necessary in order for a student with a disability to participate in an appropriate educational program. This is mandated by federal law. The IDEA, at 20 U.S.C. § 1401 (26), explains that transportation is a “related service” for students who are identified with a disability under that law.


    Laws governing the transportation of students with disabilities

    The IDEA, at 20 U.S.C. § 1401(a)(22), explains that transportation is a “related

    service” for students who are identified with a disability under that law. The law

    clarifies that:


    The term ‘‘related services’’ means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including

    therapeutic recreation, social work services, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. (emphasis added)


    The IDEA’s implementing regulations, at 34 C.F.R. § 300.24(15)(a), further

    underscore that:

    As used in this part, the term related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech language

    pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling,

    orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training. (emphasis added)


    Excessive travel time can result in a denial of FAPE. Although some students may

    require placement at a school or facility that is not located near their home, excessive daily commuting suggests the need for a different placement, possibly a residential placement, and can be deemed to be a denial of FAPE.


    What constitutes an excessive daily commute varies to a large extent on the student, their disability, overall health condition and norms for the region. Nevertheless, a review of published opinions shows that, generally speaking (and assuming the district is not located in a sparsely populated rural area), a student’s daily commute should not greatly exceed one hour either way. See, e.g., Bonadonna v. Cooperman, 557 IDELR 178 (1985-86 EHLR 557:178) (D.N.J. 1985); Covington Community Sch. Corp., 18 IDELR 180 (SEA IN 1991); Kanawho County(WV) Pub. Sch., 16 IDELR 450 (16 EHLR 450) (OCR 1987).
     
  6. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    we are waiting to see if this will be an issue. at the transitional iep from our sd to the resd i raised this as one of my main concerns.

    when i asked what i should do to prepare him for school next yr they said have him practice sitting for long periods of time. he had a hard time w/the 20 min bus ride now they want an hour. no way!
     
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