Homeless Student Transportation Project Evaluation

Washington State funded pilot homeless student transportation programs from 2004-2006 to implement provisions of the McKinney-Veneto Homeless Education Assistance Act (2001). The Act requires school districts to provide transportation to homeless students wishing to remain in their school of origin. This formative evaluation addressed four questions about those pilot efforts: (1) what modes of transportation were used; (2) what did they cost; (3) which were preferred; and (4) did staying in the school of origin affect students' academic performance? The study analyzed readership and cost data from eight educational service districts and interviewed homeless students, parents, transportation coordinators, and homeless liaisons. Findings include the following: (1) Districts used a wide array of methods to transport students, employing school buses, public transit, vans, taxis, private vehicles, fuel vouchers, mileage reimbursement, and transportation brokerage systems. School buses provided 38% of the trips, followed by third-party brokered transportation (cars, taxis, and vans) at 28%, and public transit at 22%. (2) Homeless student transportation was usually expensive. The cost to the school districts of one-way homeless student trips varied widely depending on locality and mode, from a low of $0.14 to a high of $54. Public bus service was the least costly mode; however, it was used mostly for older students and only available in selected areas. The cost for providing homeless students with public bus service ranged from $ 0.14 to $1.00 per one-way trip. By comparison, the cost for providing homeless students a one-way trip via school bus ranged from $4.50 to $54. (The average cost for a one-way school bus trip for the general student population is about $0.67.) (3) Staying in one's school of origin was associated with better Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores. In our limited data set, homeless students had lower grade point averages and lower WASL scores than the general student population. However, among homeless students, those staying in their school of origin achieved better WASL scores and better high school grades than those who changed schools.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Washington State Transportation Center

    University of Washington, 1107 NE 45th Street, Suite 535
    Seattle, WA  United States  98105

    Washington State Department of Transportation

    Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Avenue SE, P.O. Box 47300
    Olympia, WA  United States  98504-7300

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Carlson, Daniel L
    • Reder, Sheri
    • Jones, Nathalie
    • Lee, Andrea
  • Publication Date: 2006-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Research Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 55p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: WA-RD 665.1
  • Contract Numbers: Agreement T2695 Task 89
  • Created Date: Apr 13 2007 7:58PM