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Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Bus suspension is to be treated the same as an instructional suspension; a student’s transportation needs are to be determined by the IEP team.

Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Eligible for Transportation, 53 IDELR 268 (OSERS 2009): The U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (“OSERS”) issued one of a series of question and answer documents to address issues raised by requests for clarification.  The issue addresses questions relating to transportation.

Transportation is a related service under federal special education regulations and the student’s IEP team is responsible for determining if transportation is necessary for a student with a disability to benefit from special education and related services.  OSERS also explained that the IDEA does not require school districts to transport children in isolation from their peers (such as in separate vehicles).  Instead, districts should “explore options for integrating children with disabilities with nondisabled students.”  Transportation providers, such as bus drivers, should also be informed about the students’ needs, while also being made familiar with protecting the confidentiality of student information.

In addition, OSERS noted that if transportation is included in the student’s IEP, a suspension from the bus is to be treated the same as if the student were suspended from instruction.  If the school district transports the student through an IEP, a suspension may constitute a change in placement, especially if the district does not provide any alternative transportation.

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