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As districts may provide transportation in a variety of modes and may have different procedures for arranging transportation schedules, the religious or independent school administrator is urged to talk with officials of each district involved about arrangements. The following paragraphs cover provisions of the Law in a general way.

Education Law Section 3635 requires that all non-city districts provide transportation for pupils enrolled in grades K-8, who live more than two miles from their school of attendance, and for pupils enrolled in grades 9-12 who live more than three miles from their school of attendance up to a distance of fifteen miles.

City School districts and the city portion of enlarged city school districts are not required to provide any transportation, except for suitable transportation for children with handicapping conditions. These districts may, however, by a majority vote of the board of education, elect to provide transportation. If transportation is provided, it must be provided equally to all pupils in like circumstances, those attending both public and religious/independent schools.

In enlarged city school districts, the board of education is required to provide transportation in accordance with the provisions of Section 3635 for those pupils residing within the enlarged portion of the city. Parents of religious and independent school students must request transportation services. This can be done directly to public school authorities or, in some cases, channeled through the religious or independent school to public school authorities. The deadline for submitting written requests for transportation is the first day of April which precedes the next school year. Religious and independent school administrators are urged to remind parents in February or March of the necessity of meeting this deadline and to alert parents of prospective new students of this as well.

The complexity of arranging routes and coordinating transportation for religious and independent school pupils from several districts attending a variety of religious and independent schools requires cooperative efforts in planning and communication. Religious and independent school and public school officials should discuss calendars, schedules, and special pupil needs early in the planning stages.

More information can be found on the NYSED ORISS Transportation Q&A webpage and the NYSED Office of Pupil Transportation Services webpage.  

Religious and Independent Schools Transportation Resources