John Thomas, Eastern Carver County Schools
Kelly Wosika, Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
Keith Paulson, Anoka Hennepin Schools
Shelly Jonas, Minnesota School Bus Operator Association (MSBOA)
Linda Andert, Columbia Heights Schools
Jan Vanderwall, Roseville Area Schools
David Peterson, St. Paul Schools
B.J. Ison, St. Paul Schools
Troy Schreifels, Osseo Schools
Brad Lundell, Minnesota Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) Lobbyist
Summary: The summary of the February Transportation Issues meeting was approved.
School Bus Safety Committee: Next month’s School Bus Safety Committee meeting will be held at the Brooklyn Center High School on May 21, 2014. It will be a joint Stakeholders Committee Meeting.
Minnesota Department of Education: Kelly Wosika provided information that she gathered at the Minnesota’s Transportation Conference in March, 2014.
There will be a new way of processing the charter school transportation survey for the 2015-16 school year. The report will be available through MARSS Web Edit System (WES).
There was discussion about a question from a charter school on how to be more efficient in their student transportation program. Transportation funding for charter schools depends on the charter schools choice for transportation. The amount earmarked for transportation; 4.66 percent or about $270.54 of the general education basic revenue ($5,806 for FY 2015) times the average daily membership of the charter school goes either to the district in which the charter school is located or to the charter school.
If you haven’t done so already, please submit district-owned bus transaction forms to MDE so that they are included on the bus inventory listings.
Office of Student Transportation Safety: Lieutenant Brian Reu was not present.
Legislation: Brad Lundell gave a summary of what is happening during the legislative session. There are some MDE bills submitted with inconsequential issues. The bill initiated by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has stopped. There has been talk about the biodiesel during and the exemption of its use during the winter months. The Type III training requirements change was dropped. The anti-bullying law passed and will have some considerations for bus drivers.
Miscellaneous: Jan Vanderwall presented a draft care and treatment transportation policy that Roseville Area Schools are working on finalizing. There was a discussion on the elements that should be included when a district develops similar policies. After some tweaking, Jan will send out a revised policy that districts may modify and use.
Kelly Wosika mentioned the Transportation to Day Treatment Program Frequently Asked Questions document and the MARSS Manual Procedure 27 as resources districts could use to develop their policies.
Dave Peterson will draft a response to the Minnesota 2020 Report entitled More Dangerous, More Costly: An Analysis of Transportation Outsourcing.
There will be experts on fuels attending the next Issues Committee Meeting. They will be available to discuss biodiesel regulations. There are plans to have the meeting available though video conferencing.
There was a discussion regarding the current school bus driver shortage. The reason behind the shortage comes from a variety of factors including, health care and sleep apnea regulations, full-day kindergarten programs and athletics. District transportation directors need to know how to recruit, train and pay bus drivers to retain them and hire new ones.
There was a discussion on when special transportation is provided for students that have cold weather induced medical issues, (for example, asthma). The students don’t qualify for 504 Accommodation Plans, therefore the cost for the specialized transportation would come out of general funds.
Adjourn: 11:30 a.m.
Next Meeting: May 28, 2014, MDE Conference Center A, Room 3 and 4, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.