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Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Superintendent" means the superintendent of public instruction.
(2) "District" means either a school district or an educational service district.
(3) "Charter school" means a public school operating under the provisions of chapter 28A.710 RCW.
(4) The definition of "school" includes learning centers or other agencies where educational services are provided.
(5) "Eligible student" means any student served by a district or charter school transportation program either by bus, district car, or individual arrangements meeting one or more of the following criteria:
(a) A student whose route stop is outside the walk area of the student's enrollment school site; or
(b) A student whose disability is defined by RCW 28A.155.020 and who is either not ambulatory or not capable of protecting his or her own welfare while traveling to or from school.
Districts determine which students are provided with transportation services; however, only eligible students qualify for funding under the operations allocation.
(6) "To and from transportation" means all transportation between route stops and schools both before and after the school day. To and from transportation includes transportation between home and school and transportation between schools, commonly referred to as shuttles. Transportation not authorized for state allocations under this definition includes, but is not limited to, transportation for students participating in nonacademic extended day programs, field trips, and extracurricular activities.
(7) "Home to school transportation" means all student transportation between route stops and schools both before and after the school day. Home to school transportation does not include transportation between schools.
(8) "Basic program transportation" means students transported between home and school for their basic education. Basic program transportation includes those students who qualify under RCW 28A.155.020 for special services and are capable of protecting his or her own welfare while traveling to or from school and those students who are enrolled in gifted or bilingual programs or homeless students that do not require specialized transportation. Also included in basic program transportation is transportation required to comply with the school choice provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
(9) "Special program transportation" means home to school transportation for one of the following specialized programs:
(a) Special education programs provided for by chapter 28A.155 RCW and where transportation as a related service is included on the student's individual education plan or where transportation is required under the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; or
(b) Students who require special transportation to a bilingual program in a centralized location; or
(c) Students who require special transportation to a gifted program in a centralized location; or
(d) Students who require special transportation to their school of origin as required by the provisions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act or the foster care provisions in the ESEA Section 1112 (c)(5)(B); or
(e) Students who require special transportation to a district operated head start, district operated early childhood education assistance program, or other district operated early education program.
(10) "Private party contract" means the provision of home to school transportation service using a private provider (not in a school bus). Private party contracts shall require criminal background checks of drivers and other adults with unsupervised access to students and assurances that any students transported be provided with child safety restraint systems that are age and weight appropriate. Vehicles used must meet school bus specifications established in chapter 392-143 WAC if they have a manufacturer's design capacity of greater than ten passengers, including the driver. However, a vehicle manufactured to meet the federal specifications of a multifunction school activity bus may be used.
(11) "In lieu transportation" means a contract to provide home to school transportation with a parent, guardian or adult student, including transportation on rural roads to access a school bus stop.
(12) "Count period" is the three consecutive school day window used for establishing the reported student count on home to school routes.
(13) The school year is divided into three "report periods," as follows: September - October, November - January, and February - April. These report periods are also referred to respectively as the fall, winter and spring reports. The count period must not fall within five school days of the end of the report period.
(14) "Combined student count" is the total number of basic program or special program eligible student riders reported during each report period. The combined student counts for the determination of funding consist of the prorated basic program and special program student counts from the prior year's spring report and the current year's fall and winter reports. The prior school year's fall, winter and spring student counts are used for the determination of the efficiency rating. The combined student counts are prorated based on the number of months in the respective report period. For a charter school in the first year of operation, the current year fall count shall be used as the prior year spring count to determine the combined student count.
(15) "Average distance to school" means the average of the distances from each school bus stop measured by the shortest road path to the assigned student's school of enrollment.
(16) "Prorated average distance" is calculated by taking the average distance to school weighted by the number of months in the corresponding report period. The prorated average distance used in calculating district allocation consists of the prorated average distance from the prior year's spring report and the current year's fall and winter reports. The prior school year's fall, winter and spring average distances are used for the determination of the efficiency rating.
(17) "Prorated number of destinations" is calculated by taking the number of learning centers a school district provides with home-to-school transportation service weighted by the number of months in the corresponding report period. The prorated number of destinations used in calculating district allocation consists of the prorated number of destinations from the prior year's spring report and the current year's fall and winter reports. The prior school year's fall, winter, and spring number of destinations are used for the determination of the efficiency rating.
(18) "Land area" is the area of the school district in square miles, excluding water and public lands, as determined by the superintendent. For educational service districts, the land area value will be determined by the superintendent from the contiguous area provided with transportation service.
(19) "Roadway miles" refers to the number of public roadway miles within the land area of the school district, as determined by the superintendent. For educational service districts, the roadway mile value will be determined by the superintendent from the roadway miles within the contiguous area provided with transportation service.
(20) "Walk area" is defined as the area around a school where the shortest safe walking route to school is less than one mile.
(21) "District car route" means to and from school transportation where a district motor pool vehicle (not a school bus) is used to transport an eligible student or students. Any regularly scheduled home to school transportation in a district car is required to be driven by an authorized school bus driver.
(22) "District car allocation" is calculated by multiplying the total annual district car route mileage by the rate of reimbursement per mile that is authorized for state employees for the use of private motor vehicles in connection with state business in effect on September 1st of each year.
(23) A "low ridership district" is defined as a district with an annual student count less than two hundred eighteen students.
(24) A "nonhigh" district is defined as a district meeting the eligibility requirements for a nonhigh district as established by the superintendent of public instruction's school apportionment and financial services section.
(25) A "transportation cooperative" is defined as two or more districts sharing transportation operations administrative functions. An interdistrict agreement for the provision of maintenance services on school buses does not constitute a transportation cooperative for the purposes of this chapter, regardless if the agreement qualifies as a transportation cooperative under the provisions of chapter 392-346 WAC, unless shared operations administrative functions are also included in the interdistrict agreement. A transportation cooperative has the option of reporting as a single entity.
(26) "Alternate funding system" means an additional funding system as provided in RCW 28A.160.191, defined by OSPI to adjust the allocation for low enrollment school districts, nonhigh school districts, school districts participating in interdistrict transportation cooperatives, and educational service districts operating special transportation services.
(27) "Prior year expenditures" means the total of school district transportation operations costs for to-and-from transportation for the prior school year. All revenue reported in transportation except for the state allocation for transportation operations is deducted from reported costs, including in lieu of depreciation allocations under the provisions of WAC 392-142-245 for districts contracting transportation services. Any adjustments as a result of audits or other adjustments to prior year costs shall not be included unless those adjustments are correcting the actual cost of transportation operations for the prior year. The basis for the prior year expenditures shall be the district financial statement. School districts are only required to report adjustments not reflected in the annual financial statement.
(28) "Expected allocation" means the initial amount of funding resulting from the regression analysis calculation.
(29) "Adjusted allocation" means the expected allocation plus any alternate funding system, calendar, or legislative adjustments.
(30) For a district, "actual allocation" means the lesser of the prior year expenditures including adjustments by the legislature or the adjusted allocation. For a charter school, the actual allocation is a final amount to be allocated for transportation services using the process described in this chapter, plus any funding provided under chapter 392-142 WAC.
(31) "Efficiency evaluation" refers to the statistical evaluation of efficiency of a school district's transportation operation using linear programming of the data required by the funding formula and the number of buses used on home-to-school routes. Each school district is separately compared to an individualized statistical model of a district having similar site characteristics. The efficiency evaluation is expressed as a percentage efficiency rating.
(32) A district's "transportation funding percentage" is calculated by dividing the district's actual allocation by the district's prior year expenditures.
(33) The "state median percent funded" is determined by calculating each district's transportation funding percentage and taking the median value by sorting the total number of reporting districts in descending order and selecting the middle value. If there is an even number of districts, the bottom value in the top half shall be used.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.150.290. WSR 16-22-073, § 392-141-310, filed 11/1/16, effective 12/2/16; WSR 16-05-062, § 392-141-310, filed 2/12/16, effective 3/14/16; WSR 15-11-075, § 392-141-310, filed 5/19/15, effective 6/19/15; WSR 13-17-110, § 392-141-310, filed 8/21/13, effective 9/21/13; WSR 11-15-007, § 392-141-310, filed 7/7/11, effective 8/7/11.]
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