HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO STUDENT TRANSPORTATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the department of education provides regular bus service for qualified public school students to facilitate compliance with the State's compulsory attendance law and transportation of school children law, as well as with federal law relating to the provision of a free and appropriate education. According to the department of education, the daily student ridership average for regular education students is 35,090 students per day and 3,359 per day for special education students. The legislature further finds that the school bus service provided by the department of education is essential for getting students to and from school, particularly for students who lack other transportation options or face hardship in obtaining school transportation services due to economic difficulty.
The legislature also finds that to qualify for regular school bus service, students in grades kindergarten through five must reside a mile or more, and students in grades six through twelve must reside 1.5 miles or more, from the school within their attendance area. Students who qualify for school bus service may receive a free bus pass if they meet eligibility requirements or pay $36.00 for quarterly one-way trips, $72.00 for quarterly round trips, or $10.00 for ten coupons. The legislature finds that a student who qualifies for free lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program is eligible for a free bus pass; however, free bus passes do not extend to students who qualify for reduced price lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program. Students and families of households who qualify for the reduced price lunch would also benefit from receiving free bus passes.
The purpose of this Act is to require the department of education to create a student bus fare rate system for the department of education's school bus program to include free bus passes for students whose household qualifies the student for free or reduced lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program.
SECTION 2. Section 302A-406, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§302A-406 Transportation of school children. (a) The department may provide suitable transportation to and from school and for educational field trips for all children in grades kindergarten to twelve and in special education classes.
(b) The department shall adopt policies,
procedures, and programs [
as it deems] necessary to provide suitable
transportation[ .]; provided that policies, procedures, and programs
related to the department's school bus program that provide bus transportation
services to students to and from school shall encompass a student bus fare rate
system that includes eligibility for a free bus pass for
students who qualify, based on the student's household eligibility, for free
lunch or reduced price lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program.
(c) The department shall adopt
rules under chapter 91 governing the supervision and administration of the
transportation of school children under this section."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 to carry out the purposes of this Act.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 3000.
Department of Education; Student Transportation; School Bus Program; Fares; Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program; Appropriation
Requires the department of education to establish a student bus fare rate system to include free bus passes for students whose household qualifies the student for free or reduced price lunch under the free and reduced price lunch program. Appropriates funds. Effective 6/30/3000. (HD1)
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.