Resources Special Needs


This Web site is devoted to the to-and-from school transportation of children with disabilities and special needs. The provision of transportation services for children with special needs is the most regulated and often changing (and, hence, challenging) area of education. Often included in the category of "special needs" are homeless students, who have a right under federal law to attend their school of origin if becoming homeless during the school year. School districts are required to offer transportation services, whether those be in the form of school buses, transit or via some other arrangement.

Administrators and supervisors of student transportation programs are charged with an awesome and expensive task. Namely, to provide the safest possible transportation service for all children that need to travel to and from school by school bus. Secondarily, to comply with the seemingly endless list of federal and state laws, local guidelines, and policies relating to the transportation of students with disabilities by school bus. This all adds up to transportation costs that are five times that of regular route students. Special needs transportation can account for more than a quarter of a school district's total transportation costs in a given school year.

This mean identifying and implementing efficiencies is paramount. A key communication appears in an October 2003 memo from the Office of Special Education Programs to the State Directors of Special Education. The memo encourages dialogue and cooperation between special needs educators and transporters.School transportation service is often a key element to getting students with special needs, as well as students with disabilities, to school safely. What administrators and supervisors do and how they do it should be a major consideration when planning transportation services for all students with special needs.

Here, the editors of School Transportation News have created a section to help administrators and supervisors of special needs transportation cope with these challenges. It contains reference materials and links to scores of pertinent resources. The majority of sources presented here are found in federal law; some of the sources were originally published in School Transportation News.