Frequently Asked Questions about Busing

From: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,1607,7-140-6530_6569_38338-137337--,00.html
Used with permission, Michigan Department of Education

Q: Isn't the school district required to transport my child?

A: School districts are NOT required by law to transport regular education children. Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 380.1321 outlines the obligations of the school district IF its board of education elects to provide transportation. Under Article 3 of the Revised School Code, the school district is obligated to provide for the transportation of a special education student if the Individualized Educational Planning Committee (IEPC) has determined that the transportation is a specialized service which is included within and necessary to carry out the student's IEP.

Q: My child is starting kindergarten. Will the bus pick my child up in front of my house?

A: There are no special laws or regulations for transporting regular education students enrolled in kindergarten. If your district provides transportation, it will be provided in accordance with the requirements of MCL 380.1321, Section 55 of the Pupil Transportation Act, and local district policy with regard to the placement of the bus stop.

Q: Is there a law about how far my child has to walk to the bus stop?

A: No law specifies the maximum distance a student may walk to the bus stop.

Q: Is there a specified distance that must exist between school bus stops?

A: The lights on a school bus which are used to notify other traffic of an upcoming stop must, by law, be activated 200 feet from the stop. Thus, bus stops must be at least 200 feet apart.

Q: What other factors are involved in establishing where the school bus stops?

A: There are many factors which should be taken into consideration when school administrators establish the placement of school bus stops. The basic legal factors are spelled out in MCL 257.1855, but the primary concern is visibility of the bus to other traffic and the consideration of stopping distances necessary for other motor vehicles in order to accomplish safe loading and unloading of the children. In general, state law requires 400 feet of clear and continuous visibility on a highway or roadway where the speed limit is more than 35 miles per hour, and 200 feet where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour. There is no state law which specifies a maximum distance between stops.

Q: What about the safety of my child getting to and from the bus stop? There are no sidewalks where we live and it's not very safe walking on the busy road we live on.

A: It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to see that a child gets safely to and from the bus stop. The school district provides transportation as a non-mandated service and establishes placement of the bus stops in accordance with the requirements of the law.

Q: Is there a law stating that an adult riding on a school bus for monitoring purposes be seated at a specific location on the bus?

A: There are no law pertaining to this issue.  In most cases when adults are assigned to monitor students that are being transported on a bus, they are near the student or students who possess the greatest amount of supervisory need.

Q: My child spends over two hours a day just riding the bus to and from school. Is there a maximum riding time in the law?

A: There is no maximum riding time in the law for children in kindergarten through grade twelve. Child care licensing regulations establish a maximum riding time of 60 continuous minutes for the transportation of preschool children.