A. Any school district may provide transportation for any child who is participating in any prekindergarten or early childhood program operated by the school district or any child who is participating in any Head Start program offered within the school district.
B. Upon a request for a student transfer pursuant to the provisions of the Education Open Transfer Act, if the parent of the student requests that the receiving district provide transportation for the student, and if the receiving district grants the transfer, then the receiving district may provide such transportation only within the boundaries of the receiving school district. A receiving school district shall not cross school district boundaries to transport a kindergarten through eighth-grade student transferred pursuant to the Education Open Transfer Act except as otherwise authorized in Section 9-105 of this title.
C. Any school district may provide transportation for each student who should attend any public elementary or secondary school when, and only when, transportation is necessary for accomplishment of one of the following purposes:
1. To provide adequate educational facilities and opportunities which otherwise would not be available which shall include those purposes provided in the Education Open Transfer Act; and
2. To transport students whose homes are more than a reasonable walking distance, as defined by regulations of the State Board of Education, from the school attended by such student. Provided, that no state funds shall be paid for the transportation of a student whose residence is within one and one-half (1 ½) miles from the school attended by such student.
School district owed no duty to student who was struck by car as she was crossing street from her residence prior to arrival of school bus on opposite side of street; school district owes no duty to pick up or deliver each student on side of street where student lives. Stokes v. Tulsa Public Schools, 875 P.2d 445(Okla. App. 1994)
School district has duty to provide a reasonably safe bus stop where children can wait for bus with reasonable safety. Brooks v. Woods, 640 P.2d 1000 (Okla. App. 1981)
Board of Education cannot transport pupils to an Opportunity Center not supported by public funds, unless part of district’s education program. AG Op. May 30, 1972
Use of school buses, operated at public expense, for transporting parochial school pupils was forbidden under the Constitution which prohibits use of pubic money or property for sectarian purposes. Transportation could not be justified on theory of public welfare. Board of Education for ISD No. 52 v. Antone, 384 P.2d 911 (Okla. 1963)
District buses cannot be used to transport students to parochial school. AG Op. August 9, 1957
A. The board of education of any school district furnishing transportation shall require that all transportation equipment, as defined in paragraph 1 of subsection A of Section 9-104 of this title, operated by that school district be inspected once a year by an official inspector, as designated by the State Board of Education, to verify that the transportation equipment is being maintained and operated in accordance with all the requirements of the rules of the State Board of Education and state and federal law. The inspection shall include an examination and test of the brakes, steering, front and rear wheel suspension, exhaust systems, wheels and tires, windshield wipers, horn or warning device, proper adjustment of turn signals, windshield, and other glass and lighting equipment, and if applicable, stop signal arms, and emergency exits and equipment. A record of the inspection shall be maintained by the school district and shall be available for inspection upon request.
B. For purposes of this section, “official inspector” means a person who, by training and experience specified by rule promulgated by the State Board of Education, is eligible to conduct inspections.
C. Failure to comply with subsection A of this section shall result in a loss of state funds to that school district in an amount to be determined by the State Board of Education.
D. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety may perform inspections of all school transportation equipment and inspection records.
The State Department of Education shall prescribe necessary forms for use by school districts in reporting actual expenses incurred in transporting pupils.
Activity of school bus transportation which lies outside parents’ control falls within school district’s legal duty to exercise reasonable care with transportation of children. Brooks v. Woods, 640 P.2d 1000 (Okla. App. 1981)
The board of education of any school district authorized to furnish transportation to school children may purchase and maintain suitable vehicles for such use and/or may contract with responsible individuals or another school district to furnish all or part of said transportation. All such contractors, however, shall be subject to statutory provisions relating to the transportation of school children. Every vehicle with a capacity of ten (10) passengers or more used in transporting school children shall have painted in letters not less than eight (8) inches in height on the front thereof the words, “SCHOOL BUS,” and on the rear thereof in letters of the same size “SCHOOL BUS.”
A. As used in this title:
1. “Transportation equipment” means any vehicle or conveyance used for transportation of pupils from their homes to school and from school to their homes when the cost of rent, lease, purchase, maintenance, or operation of said vehicle or conveyance is defrayed in whole or in part from public school funds; and
2. “Auxiliary transportation equipment” includes but is not limited to equipment used for transporting students to and from extracurricular activities but does not include transportation equipment used for transporting students from their homes to school and from school to their homes.
1. All transportation equipment shall be of such construction as to provide safe, comfortable and economical transportation of passengers. All such equipment which is used to transport ten or more public school children at one time shall be constructed, maintained and operated in accordance with all requirements of laws of the State of Oklahoma and rules of the State Board of Education.
2. All auxiliary transportation equipment shall be of such construction as to provide safe, comfortable and economical transportation of passengers. All auxiliary transportation equipment which is used to transport ten or more public school children at one time shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with all requirements of laws of this state.
C. Nothing in this act shall prevent the bidding by and purchase of new or used transportation equipment or new or used auxiliary transportation equipment from out-of-state dealers so long as they comply with Section 561 et seq. of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes regulating and licensing manufacturers, distributors, dealers, salesmen, etc., and hold a current motor vehicle dealers' license.
D. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a district board of education may paint or purchase auxiliary transportation equipment in a color or colors other than National School Bus Yellow.
E. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
A. The State Board of Education shall determine and fix definite boundaries of the area in which each school district shall provide transportation for each school. When an elementary school district is surrounded by an independent school district, the independent school district must be designated as the transportation area for the high school students in the elementary school district.
B. The State Board of Education is authorized to establish definite routes in each transportation area, and it shall be the further duty of said Board to make rules and regulations as to the manner in which said area and routes may be established or changed. Except as otherwise provided in this section, state funds payable to a district shall be withheld for a failure or refusal to confine its transportation to the area and routes designated by the State Board of Education or to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education. State funds payable to a school district shall not be withheld in the following circumstances:
1. When, based upon the mutual agreement of the two participating school districts, a school district offering special education classes extends its transportation program to include the transportation of students qualifying for special education in an adjacent school district which does not offer special education classes, for the purpose of offering its special education classes to said students.
2. When, by resolutions of the board of education of two participating districts, the districts agree that one or both of the districts may extend its transportation program into the other participating district to provide transportation for students who reside in such other participating district and who, by agreement of the participating districts, are, or will be, attending school in the district that has agreed to furnish transportation for the students.
C. The State Board shall promulgate rules as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
A prerequisite to independent school district’s annexation of federal land is inclusion of the land within the district’s designated transportation area. Jet-Nash School District v. Cherokee School District, 776 P.2d 553 (Okla. 1989)
The board of education of any school district authorized to furnish transportation may purchase insurance for the purpose of paying damages to persons sustaining injuries proximately caused by the operation of motor vehicles used in transporting school children. The operation of said vehicles by school districts, however, is hereby declared to be a public governmental function, and no action for damages shall be brought against a school district under the provisions of this section but may be brought against the insurer, and the amount of the damages recoverable shall be limited in amount to that provided in the contract of insurance between the district and the insurer and shall be collectible from said insurer only. The provision of this section shall not be construed as creating any liability whatever against any school district which does not provide said insurance.
Insurer is not a proper party in a lawsuit by a child struck by a bus. Conway v. Ohio Casualty Ins. Co., 669 P.2d 766 (Okla. 1983)
This section has been superseded by the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act which contains its own provisions for procurement of liability insurance for school districts. April 22, 1982 (AG Op. No. 82-80)
Each school bus shall be operated in conformity with all rules of the road duly established by law and shall observe traffic requirements for the route which it travels.
The board of education of any school district furnishing transportation is hereby authorized to furnish, in addition to free transportation to and from school, transportation within or without the district, within or outside of this state, for children attending the schools of that district, for the purpose of attending cocurricular and extracurricular activities. Two or more districts may enter into agreements for the furnishing of such transportation. The expense of any such additional transportation shall be paid by the children so transported, by the school activity or school organization receiving benefit from such transportation, or from other private sources. Money so collected shall not be chargeable to or become a part of the school district's finances.
District may be authorized to use buses to transport nondistrict children to educational contests and activities within or without the district, but cannot provide transportation to students of higher education. July 27, 1982 (AG Op. No. 82-192)
Student Activity Fund can be used to defray expense of transporting students to and from student activities, or to reimburse teacher for expenses or otherwise compensate teacher for transporting students. AG Op. January 17, 1980
The State Board of Education is hereby authorized to request a price list and a complete description and specifications of any transportation equipment to be offered for sale to any school board or board of education of any district in the State of Oklahoma.
The State Board of Education shall examine such equipment to determine whether or not such equipment meets the requirements of the National School Bus Standards and such other specifications as the State Board of Education may determine as necessary to provide safe transportation for pupils to and from school and shall approve for sale to all schools in the State of Oklahoma transportation equipment, including bus bodies and chassis, which equipment meets or exceeds the specifications provided for the National School Bus Standards and such other specifications as the State Board of Education may deem as necessary. Any equipment fueled by alternative fuels as defined in Section 130.13 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall also meet any federal safety standards specified for any equipment used to provide transportation for pupils to and from school. The State Board of Education may approve auxiliary transportation equipment that is not National School Bus Yellow in color.
The State Board of Education shall make a list of the equipment approved by them and the maximum price at which such equipment can be purchased. The list shall include a complete description of the equipment. Such description shall include the specification of the school bus bodies and chassis as well as the factory list price of such equipment at the various factories. Such list shall be made available to all school districts authorized to purchase transportation equipment. Provided, at any time there shall be any change of specifications or prices by manufacturers of chassis or bodies, there shall be filed with the State Board of Education a revised set of specifications and prices.
The school board or board of education of any school district authorized to furnish transportation for pupils to and from school and receiving any State Aid funds, except as provided for in this section, shall be required to purchase all their transportation equipment from the list so provided on sealed bids and at a price not greater than the price filed with the State Board of Education; and the State Board of Education shall be required to deduct from any State Aid for which the school district may qualify the amount paid by any school district for transportation equipment not approved by the State Board of Education or the amount paid greater than shown on the price list for that transportation equipment filed with the State Board of Education. Unless otherwise exempted by this section, all purchases made under the provisions of this act for transportation shall be made upon sealed bids, and contract of purchase shall be awarded to the lowest and best bidder.
Provided, however, any purchase or sale of used transportation equipment shall not be subject to the list and sealed bid requirements as provided for in this section.
The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary for the administration of this section and shall require from school district boards of education such information and reports as necessary for proper administration of this section.
Any cost of administration of this section shall be paid by the State Board of Education from funds appropriated for the administration of the State Aid Law.
State Department of Education regulations which do not require passenger seat belts in school buses are not a clear indication of legislative intent and are not to be given such effect. Attocknie v. Carpenter Manufacturing, Inc., 901 P. 2d 221 (Okla. App. 1995)
There is hereby created a revolving fund, to be known and designated as the “Special Transportation Revolving Fund,” which shall consist of all appropriations made for the purposes hereinafter designated and shall also include all proceeds resulting from the use and/or resale of pupil transportation equipment purchased out of monies in said revolving fund. Said revolving fund shall be a continuing fund and shall be nonfiscal in character.
The State Board of Education through the Director of Finance is hereby authorized to use the “Special Transportation Revolving Fund” for the purchase of pupil-transportation equipment suitable for the transportation of children to and from the common schools and to make one or more units of such pupil-transportation equipment available for use by any school district in the State of Oklahoma which is either required or authorized by statute to provide free transportation to and from school for children legally residing in such district or legally transferred thereto and entitled to attend school therein, but which school district does not have sufficient funds available, and, because of then existing indebtedness, may not legally issue its bonds for the purchase of other pupil-transportation equipment. Provided, such equipment shall be purchased from the list of approved equipment as provided for in Section 9-109 and at a price not greater than the price so approved. Provided, further, the school board or board of education of any school district desiring to rent such equipment shall select from the approved list the equipment they desire before the State Board of Education shall be authorized to purchase transportation equipment for rental to any district. Provided, further, the State Board of Education shall not be authorized to act in behalf of any school district in the purchase of any transportation equipment except as provided for in this act.
Any such eligible school district and the State Board of Education may enter into a lease contract, in writing, for the use by such school district of one or more of such pupil-transportation equipment units during the then current fiscal year, at the annual rental value of such unit or units determined in the manner provided for herein, but which contract may be entered into only against a then current item of appropriation for “Transportation Operation.” Any school district which lawfully leases one or more of such pupil-transportation equipment units from the State Board of Education during any fiscal year shall be eligible to enter into a like contract for the same unit or units during and for the ensuing fiscal year, and shall also be eligible to purchase the same such units, as provided for herein, even though such district then has sufficient funds available or may then legally issue its bonds for the purchase of other pupil transportation equipment.
The State Board of Education shall fix the annual rental value of each particular unit of such pupil-transportation equipment at an amount not less than that required to amortize the original total cost of that unit by five (5) years’ rental thereof.
The State Board of Education may sell any particular unit of such pupil-transportation equipment to an eligible school district, at any time after such unit has been leased for one (1) fiscal year, for an amount not less than the original total cost of such unit less rentals actually paid for the use of such unit; provided, however, in so selling any such unit, preference shall be given to the school district leasing such unit during the then preceding fiscal year.
Any school district leasing any such pupil-transportation equipment from the State Board of Education shall at its own cost and expense procure such equipment from the State Board of Education, keep such equipment, including all tires, tubes and accessories thereon and therewith, in good repair during the time the same shall be in its possession, and, at the expiration of the term of such lease, unless such equipment be purchased or again leased by such district, return such equipment to the State Board of Education in as good condition as when received, ordinary wear and tear alone excepted. Any tire or tube needing to be replaced while such equipment is in the possession of a school district shall be replaced by, and at the expense of, such district.
The State Board of Education is hereby authorized to procure space for the storage of such pupil-transportation units while not in the possession of a school district and to pay the necessary cost thereof from the “Special Transportation Revolving Fund.” When any such unit is returned to the State Board of Education, said Board is hereby authorized to recondition same, and to pay necessary cost of such reconditioning, including the cost of any new tires or tubes required for such purpose, from said “Special Transportation Revolving Fund.”
Any costs or expense necessarily incurred by the State Board of Education in the administration of the foregoing provisions relating to the “Special Transportation Revolving Fund” shall be paid from funds appropriated or allocated for the administration of laws providing for the payment of State Aid to school districts in the same manner that expenses of administration of such laws are paid.
Except in case of emergency, anyone who operates, as a driver, a school bus whether a contractor for private hire or an employee of the school district for the transportation of students enrolled in the public schools of the district shall complete a course of instruction pertaining to the operation of a school bus. Said course to be approved by the State Department of Education and the district involved.
A. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation shall establish and implement the Safe Routes to Schools program, a federally-funded program with the goal of increasing physical activity in school-aged children by increasing the number of children walking and bicycling to school.
B. The Department may apply for, accept, receive and disburse gifts, grants, donations and other monies from the federal government or from any other public or private source to implement the provisions of this act. Monies received by the Department for such purposes shall be deposited in the Safe Routes to Schools Revolving Fund created in Section 2 of this act.
C. The Director of the Department shall appoint a Safe Routes to Schools Advisory Committee, which shall consist of any number of persons the Director deems appropriate. Members appointed to serve on such committee shall not be eligible for compensation for such service; provided, however, public employees may be eligible to serve on the committee as part of their duties.
D. The Department, in consultation with the Safe Routes to Schools Advisory Committee, shall establish a safe routes to schools program to assist communities in identifying and reducing barriers and hazards to children walking or bicycling to and from school. The Department may provide the following types of assistance:
2. Technical services and advice;
3. Public information and education; and
4. Evaluation and measurement of community programs.
E. The Department is authorized to promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
There is hereby created in the State Treasury a revolving fund for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to be designated the “Oklahoma Safe Routes to Schools Revolving Fund”. The fund shall be a continuing fund, not subject to fiscal year limitations, and shall consist of all monies received by the Department from any public or private sources authorized by law. All monies accruing to the credit of the fund are hereby appropriated and may be budgeted and expended by the Department for the purpose of implementing the federal Safe Routes to School program. Expenditures from the fund shall be made upon warrants issued by the State Treasurer against claims filed as prescribed by law with the Director of State Finance for approval and payment.