For many students in foster care, transportation is needed to allow them to remain in the same school. ESSA requires LEAs receiving Title I funds to collaborate with child welfare agencies to ensure that transportation for children in foster care is provided, arranged, and funded. (ESEA section 1112 (c)(5)(B).
By December 10, 2016, local education agencies (LEAs) in Pennsylvania and their corresponding county children and youth agency (CCYA) were required to collaboratively develop and implement a local written transportation plan for students in foster care.
An LEA must ensure that a child in foster care needing transportation to the school of origin receives such transportation for the duration of the time the child is in foster care.
LEAs must have met the following assurances by December 10, 2016 in order to comply with ESSA’s requirements related to transportation for foster youth:
- LEAs and CCYAs must develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin, when in their best interest, will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the time in foster care.
- LEAs and CCYAs must develop and implement procedures to ensure that children in foster care needing transportation to their school of origin will promptly receive it in a cost effective manner and in accordance with Section 475 (4)(A) of the Social Security Act.
- If there are additional costs incurred in providing transportation to the school of origin, the LEA will provide such transportation if:
- The local CCYA agrees to reimburse the LEA for the cost of such transportation;
- The LEA agrees to pay for the cost;
- The LEA and local CCYA agree to share the cost; or
- The LEA of origin, the LEA of foster residence, and the placing CCYA agree to share the costs.
Resolving Disputes Related To Transportation
LEAs and CCYAs are also asked to develop a local dispute resolution process as part of their local transportation procedures to address how the transportation requirement will be met if parties cannot come to an agreement. This dispute process should include which agency or agencies will initially provide and pay for transportation during the pendency of a dispute.
For additional tips and strategies, the PA Departments of Education and Human Services have collaborated to provide a PA Transportation Plan Guide (PDF).
Please submit all new or revised transportation agreement memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and transportation plans to email@example.com.