Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel Introduces School Bus Mandate Relief Act

April 4, 2011
Albany Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel recently introduced the School Bus Mandate Relief Act (A.6821). This legislation will provide school districts mandate relief in bus transportation costs by allowing them to reduce the number of seats provided for students based on actual bus ridership.

The legislation allows school boards, at their discretion, after filing a three year actual ridership history with the State Education Department, to reduce the number of empty seats on school buses. Under the bill school districts must maintain a bus fleet to meet the requirements of 120 percent of the maximum ridership of the last three years.

"This legislation grants local school districts greater flexibility in deciding their own transportation needs, and will mean significant savings for schools and ultimately taxpayers," said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

Current State Law requires school districts to provide a seat for every student eligible for home to school transportation whether they choose to use it or not. Many school districts are forced to transport school buses with empty seats twice a day.

"I have been working with my school boards and I am hopeful this bill will be passed because it recognizes true mandate relief. My special thanks to the Manhasset School Board for starting the process and recognizing the need for change over two years ago," stated Assemblywoman Schimel.