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Many Parents of children with disabilities question whether their child may be entitled to transportation provided by the school. The answer to this question is, as with all special education matters, that "it depends" on the unique needs of the child.

California law defines special education as instruction designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs coupled with related services as needed to enable the student to benefit fully from instruction. (Ed. Code, § 56031.) The term "related services" includes transportation. (20 U.S.C. § 1401(26))

The IDEA regulations define transportation as:

  • travel to and from school and between schools
  • travel in and around school buildings
  • specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps),

if it is required to provide transportation for a child with a disability. (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(c)(16).)

The IDEA does not specifically define transportation as door-to-door services from your door to the door of the school. Nor does the definition include an aide to escort the child to and from the bus. However, both are possible services that the District may be responsible for. Decisions regarding such services are left to the discretion of the IEP team. (Analysis of Comments and Changes to 2006 IDEA Part B Regulations, 71 Fed. Reg. 46576 (August 14, 2006).)

Specifically, if the question is whether your child is entitled to be picked up and dropped off at the front door of your home or whether your child will be picked up at a bus stop, the courts have provided some guidance on how this is to be decided. The IEP team is to consider the following factors:

  • The child's ability to move independently,
  • The child's age,
  • Nature of the child's disability,
  • The distance to be traveled between the home and a bus stop,
  • Nature and conditions of the route to be traveled from the home to the bus stop,
  • The availability of public assistance on the route between the home and the bus stop, and
  • Access to private assistance.

If you feel that your child is entitled to transportation or is not being provided with appropriate transportation, contact our office.

We welcome your participation in the discussions on this blog. Feel free to comment on posts that interest you.

Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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