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(1) The route (the area served and the miles per day) must be established by the board of trustees, by board resolution.

(2) The route must be approved by the county transportation committee. ( 20-10-132 , MCA.)

(a) A district may not extend a bus route to transport pupils from outside its transportation service area unless the district has a written agreement with the district that the county transportation committee has assigned to transport the pupils. Without a written agreement between districts authorizing the route, the county transportation committee must withdraw its approval of the entire route. ( 20-10-126 , MCA.)

(b) The county transportation committee may not approve only a portion of a route. The route must be approved or denied in its entirety.

(3) The vehicle operating on the route must meet minimum standards for school buses adopted by the Board of Public Education.

(4) The vehicle operating on the route must be inspected and approved by the Montana Highway Patrol as stated in ARM 10.7.110.

(5) The driver of the vehicle must be qualified according to law. ( 20-10-103 , MCA.)

(6) Reimbursement is not authorized for bus transportation provided for a student who lives less than three miles from school unless transportation is listed as a related service on the student's individualized education plan or the student is a preschool student with disabilities.

(7) State and county reimbursement is not authorized for routes operated outside the term of the regular school year for days in excess of 180 days per school year or for days the route was not operated.

(8) When the board of trustees changes a route's mileage per day, or if a different school bus is used on the route, the trustees must amend the TR-1 bus route form, show the effective date of the change, submit it first to the county transportation committee for approval and then to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. When the claims for payments are submitted, the district will report the number of days the route operated at each mileage amount or number of days that each bus operated on the route. The Superintendent of Public Instruction will adjust the reimbursement for the route and will pay the adjusted rate for days the route operates after the date the change in mileage or bus became effective, subject to constraints of the budget or budget amendments.

(9) When routes are extended it is up to the district to determine if a budget amendment is required to cover the additional costs of the route.

(10) A school district shall not claim state and county transportation aid for the district's or cooperative's conveyance of students to and from alternative sites, buildings or other locations where services or programs are offered during the school day, such as partial-day special education services provided by a cooperative or classes at different buildings of the school district or community. Pursuant to 20-10-145 , MCA, school districts may claim state and county transportation reimbursement for conveyance of a pupil from the student's home to and from the location of the student's center based day program for the school day, such as a day treatment program or special education preschool program that is operated by a cooperative or district interlocal agreement.

History: 20-3-106, 20-9-102, 20-10-112, MCA; IMP, 20-10-103, 20-10-112, 20-10-121, 20-10-126, 20-10-132, 20-10-141, 20-10-145, 20-10-146, MCA; Eff. 8/6/75; ARM Pub. 11/26/77; AMD, 1997 MAR p. 203, Eff. 1/28/97; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 1719, Eff. 6/26/98; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 632, Eff. 2/25/00; AMD, 2002 MAR 1740, Eff. 6/28/02.

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