Funding for Pupil Transportation: Framework for Analysis

School districts spend approximately $17 billion annually on pupil transportation. More than half of all students in the United States are eligible for transportation at public expense. Despite this major financial investment and the large number of daily student trips, relatively little scholarly material is written on funding for pupil transportation. This article provides research background on pupil transportation funding, establishes a comprehensive framework of analysis for evaluating methods of state funding, and presents case studies of six states to highlight institutional differences. The key questions about state pupil transportation policy are (a) whether pupil transportation is mandated by the state, (b) what the eligibility requirements are for state aid, and (c) what formula is used for reimbursement. Funding for pupil transportation varies greatly among states, with differences that include student eligibility for transportation, funding formulas, and state aid as a percentage of transportation costs. The primary method of pupil transportation funding consists of state reimbursement for a portion of a school district’s expenditures. The remaining costs must then be covered by local funding sources. Unlike some other areas of school finance, pupil transportation programs receive little funding from the federal government. The research also identifies safety, school siting, and walking to school as areas in which pupil transportation policies have important impacts.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01047195
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104357
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 7:00PM