Sped Bus Supervisor Asks for Transportation Help

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Kudos to the Special Education Bus Supervisor who wrote:

Your site was recommended to me by one of my coworkers at my district. I have been a supervisor for Special Ed buses for almost three years and feel like there is so much more that I could be aware of. Do you have any transportation specific articles? Or recommendations that I could use to further my knowledge? Thanks.

We’ll share our response in case others have questions about transportation issues.

Transportation as a Related Service

Transportation as a related service is included in a child’s IEP if the IEP team determines that service is needed.

Transportation includes:

  • travel to and from school and between schools
  • travel in and around school buildings
  • specialized equipment if required to provide special transportation

Legal References in IDEA

You will find specific legal references in IDEA 2004 are in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2d Edition.

34 C.F.R. 300.34 and 300.34 (c)(16)
20 U.S.C. 1401 (26)
20 U.S.C. 1432 (4)(E)


Support and Training for School Personnel

The need for training and support applies to all school personnel. School bus drivers are expected to handle children with different needs related to cognitive, behavioral, and medical conditions.

  • A school bus driver may need training in behavior management techniques for children with autism and emotional disturbances.
  • A bus driver may also need training from physical and occupational therapists about how to position a medically fragile child.
  • A bus driver may need training from the school nurse about how to transport a child with health impairments.

You’ll find more information in Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, Chapter 5. See Transportation on page 44. And, Support and Training for School Personnel on page 45.


If a child has transportation needs, ask the school bus driver to join the IEP team.
(From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration training, Footnote #12) https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/buses/UpdatedWeb/topic_9/page1.html

Review your state code and regulations at your State Department of Education. Search the regulations for information about bus driver training requirements related to children with special needs. Or, use the contact information to get answers from someone at your state DOE.

Search Wrightslaw

Enter the term “transportation” in the search box on any Wrightslaw.com page. The search should return about 900 results. Copied below are just a few of the links.


And, a thank you note…

Thank you so much for responding. I didn’t expect an answer after receiving the automated response. I didn’t think of the search bar, I just glanced at the topics from A – Z and didn’t see transportation mentioned. I already have a copy of Special Education Law.

I no longer feel like I’m working in a fog because of the website. Thanks again.

  1. Our publicly funded child has door to door transportation as a part of his IEP. Our public school district has a policy that entitles private pay families to ride public buses to school (I can’t see why they would assume the liability and no one can explain to me why they do this). At some point in the summer our home address is given to one or more families by the school district or the non-public school who then come to our house on a daily basis for bus service. This has led to some very uncomfortable situations such as requests to use our bathroom by virtual strangers and having literally no idea who will show up on our doorstep (and yes it has been our literal doorstep). Does this happen in other districts? Is there anything I can do to stop it?

    • The reason they assume the liability is because they may be required to. In my State (OH), parentally-placed students must be provided transportation subject to a few rules, and if not “practical”, the district must offer the parent a “stipend”. I think IDEA requires schools transport parentally-placed students to certain activities, but not from home to school and back.

      Private transportation providers that are contracted by your district would be subject to FERPA the same as district drivers. I believe FERPA still protects district-placed students as if they attended public school. (Not parentally-placed.)

      The way to stop this would be to call the transportation office for your district and report unprofessional behavior. You don’t need to be the local “truck-stop”!

  2. I’m currently a bus aide and some of the things I’ve observed re: transportation Mrs., bus drivers and the overall logistical process is appalling. There doesn’t appear to be the appropriate oversight in place to run a proper, effective and efficient Special Needs transportation department.

  3. My grandson’s IEP supports a 1:1 para/aide during his school bus commute. Unable to obtain an aide & after weeks of getting him to school late and picking him up early to accommodate his little sister’s school schedule, my daughter allowed him to board the school bus without the mandated aide. My grandson has been riding the bus for several months without the 1:1 aide. No major incidents until he was able to throw his bookbag out the bus window. My daughter reignites her attempt to obtain his travel aide. An aide is assigned. The aide shows up the first couple of days, calls out the next day, is late and misses the bus another day – all within the 1st 5 days of service. Now the driver will not allow my grandson on the bus without the aide. What are my grandson’s/daughter’s rights?

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