Updated: Private School Students May Still Get District Buses In 2018-19 School Year

Update: The Board of Education at its Aug. 23 meeting approved a $432,000 contract with the Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission of Piscataway to provide buses for private school students.

Original Story: The question of whether the school district will provide bus transportation to private schools in the upcoming school year has not yet been answered, despite a notification saying otherwise to private school students’ parents.

District officials originally thought transportation would not be provided because an initial request for bids for the contracts resulted in no awards, said district spokeswoman Mary Clark.

But that issue has hopefully been rectified, she said.

The state Department of Education allocates a maximum amount per year for qualified students needing transportation to a private school. That “aid in lieu of transportation” either goes to the student’s school district – which then uses it to hire a bus company if the district doesn’t have its own bus fleet – or it goes to the student directly.

The problem was that the initial state allocation was $884 per student, Clark said.

“The state had lowered the per student allocation this year and we were not able to secure any successful bids for those routes,” she said. “We had to let the private schools know of this situation by August 1.”

In the time between the initial transportation aid being announced and the notifications going out, the state DOE raised the maximum allocation to $1,000, Clark said.

“This has allowed us to go back out to try to secure bids for these bus routes,” she said. “That bid opening is scheduled for August 23.”

Clark said the district “hope(s) to be able to supply transportation for those non-public students and should know at that time.”



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