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Transportation Aid Ratios

School districts providing pupil transportation receive State aid for approved transportation expenditures based on an aid ratio. The ratio used is actually the highest aid ratio result from three separate statutory aid ratio calculations. Districts with fewer than 21 pupils per mile are also eligible for a sparsity adjustment. The maximum aid ratio is 90%; the minimum ratio is 6.5%.

The aid ratios shown below are for the years indicated and could be adjusted due to changes in the underlying data elements that are used to calculate the formula or due to a change in the statutory formula itself. In addition, the following link Transportation Frequently asked Questions gives insights to the state aid output reports that include transportation aid ratios.

Transportation Aid is based on a district's approved transportation non-capital expenses. Approved transportation expenses are generally those made in transporting all pupils to and from school once daily and between the school attended and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, or in transporting pupils to approved shared programs at other school districts or occupational education programs within a district.

They include expenditures for the operation of a school district transportation supervisor's office, and for operation of district-owned buses, contract buses, and public service vehicles (subway included).

The process of sorting expenditures is summarized as follows:

a) Determine which of the transportation expenses can be used as approved transportation expenses to generate Transportation Aid;

b) Determine those transportation expenses which are deducted from total operating expenditures to insure they do not generate any other aid.

Transportation expenses approved for Transportation Aid include only those incurred in transporting allowable pupils on approved buses, over approved routes. A non-allowable pupil decimal based on an historical record of pupils is used as a substitute for the actual deductible cost of non-allowable pupil miles and also is applied to the purchase of buses. This decimal must be recomputed every three years, or when district transportation policy revisions require a recalculation. 

Pupils attending a universal pre-kindergarten program pursuant to Section 3602-e of the Education Law who are transported using available vacant seats on existing bus routes will not increase the non-allowable pupil deduction.

Examples of non-allowable pupils are: non-disabled pupils who live 1 1/2 miles or less from the school attended (unless the pupil lives within an approved, designated child safety zone), and non-disabled pupils transported to public schools outside the district of residence when classes are maintained by the district of residence.

Expenditures for transportation services provided for field trips, athletic trips, excursions, and noon trips for lunch cannot be used to generate Transportation Aid. The expenses for such trips are pro-rated on the basis of route mileage. Expenditures for operating late bus trips to transport pupils who stay late for club or athletic activities are aidable approved transportation expenses.

Pursuant to Education Law 3622-a(6), transportation services provided to academic summer schools operated by the school district during the summer of 2001 and thereafter are aidable transportation expenses for aid payable in 2002-03 and thereafter. However, if the total statewide apportionment attributable to allowable summer transportation expenses exceeds $5,000,000, individual school district allocations will be prorated to ensure that the apportionment for summer transportation does not exceed $5,000,000. The prorated apportionment for summer transportation becomes final and not subject to change as of September 1 of the school year immediately following the aid year in which aid was paid.

Transportation contracts must be filed with the Education Department within 120 days of start of service in order to generate full Transportation Aid. Only contract expenditures up to the amount stipulated in the contract, and within reasonable cost guidelines developed by the State Education Department, may be allowed for aid purposes. Section 3625(1) of the Education Law also requires that every transportation contract be submitted to the superintendent of schools for approval before such contract is filed with the Department.

List of aidable and non-aidable transportation expenses