INCREASE HIGH COST TRANSPORTATION CATEGORICAL AID TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITH SIGNIFICANT GEOGRAPHIC AREAS.
Under the high cost transportation aid proposal, the aid threshold would be lowered from 140% to 100% of the statewide average. As a result, a school district would be eligible for aid if its per pupil transportation cost exceeded the statewide average per pupil cost, and eligible districts would receive aid equal to the difference between the district’s per pupil transportation cost and the statewide average.
Ensuring Access to Educational Opportunity
A long-standing goal motivating state involvement in the funding of local public schools is to ensure that students are not systematically exposed to better or worse systems of educational opportunity simply because of where they happen to reside. Lowering the high cost transportation aid threshold to 100% of the statewide average would ensure that sparse or rural districts with significant geographic areas are not at a competitive disadvantage because they are subject to revenue limits like all other districts, but must spend a larger portion of their budgets on transportation rather than direct instruction of students.