One School District + Shared Custody = Two Bus Stops
On August 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the Public School Code requires that a school district provide free transportation to a student whose parents share physical custody and have separate homes within the school district. The Court’s decision stated that when a student splits time equally at each parent’s home, the student officially has two residences. If the district has elected to offer free transportation for all students between the school and their residences, it must be offered from and to both residences under these circumstances.
While this may make life easier for divorced parents, an important consideration is the cost of the policy for taxpayers. The decision of the county trial judge required such transportation be provided only when a district bus with an available seat already served both homes. The Supreme Court ruling does not contain the same limitation, and if applied broadly could result in higher transportation costs for school districts. (September 2, 2015)