Kelly Wosika, Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
Keith Paulson, Anoka Hennepin Schools
David Peterson, St. Paul Schools
Lieutenant Brian Reu, Minnesota State Patrol
Summary: The summary of the May Transportation Issues meeting was approved.
Minnesota Department of Education: Kelly Wosika provided follow up information on transportation for students that participate in the Safe at Home Program under the Minnesota Secretary of State Office. For transportation purposes, a Safe at Home participant family cannot be required to disclose their real address. A district may ask for an intersection near the family’s home or an address other than the family’s home in order to fulfill the transportation request made by the parent. This intersection or address should only be available to key personnel – a bus driver for example – in order for them to perform their jobs.
Several new charter schools will be opening this fall. There was discussion on what training opportunities should be provided to them in regards to student transportation.
There was a discussion on the Fostering Connections Act and how it relates to student transportation. A bulletin clarifying transportation responsibility and funding of education stability of children in foster care is forthcoming.
Districts should be diligent about their transportation state reporting in order to get all information to MDE in a timely manner, before statutory deadlines. Districts would need to go through the appeal process if deadlines were not met.
Office of Student Transportation Safety: Lieutenant Brian Reu said that some districts and contractors were given notice of a drug and alcohol compliance review which will be done by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Visit the Federal Transit Administration website. FTA implements regulations governing substance-abuse management programs. This is legitimate request rather than a bogus one that sometimes is made by imposters.
There are three basic items the FTA is looking for when they implement a drug and alcohol compliance review:
Lieutenant Brian Reu reported that inspections are going pretty well. Only a few contractors and districts have compliance issues.
Having cameras on buses to apprehend stop-arm violations is a tough battle as there is already a process in place for offenders.
The Annual North American School Bus EXPO, sponsored by Student Transportation News (STN) was held in Reno, Nevada on July 20-24, 2013. Visit the EXPO website.
Miscellaneous: David Peterson mentioned that a select group from the Minnesota School Bus Safety Committee met to discuss the current student school bus training regulations and to recommend improvements. The group recommends the following legislative initiatives:
Keith Paulson is a liaison with the Safe Routes to School Steering Committee. His assistance was requested to communicate these initiatives to the committee for discussion and support.
David Peterson mentioned that Roseville Area Schools would provide transportation to the Harambee School under desegregation transportation.
Desegregation or integration transportation is still a valid category for state aid for to-and-from school and to programs, classes or events.
Adjourn: 10:30 a.m.
Next Meeting: Joint meeting with the Office of Pupil Transportation Safety – Stakeholders Group on September 18, 2013, MDE Conference Center A, Room 13, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.