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Home-to-School Transportation Reimbursement

Home-to-School Transportation Reimbursement funding information to assist school districts, transportation agencies, and school transportation operators in providing the safest and most efficient transportation services for their passengers and customers.

Home-to-School (HTS) Transportation Reimbursement was implemented by Assembly Bill (AB) 181 (Chapter 52, Statutes of 2022) and amended by AB 185 (Chapter 571, Statutes of 2022). It provides reimbursement funding for school districts and county offices of education (COEs) based on the prior year eligible transportation expenditures and prior year Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) transportation related add-on funding.

This page will provide assistance primarily on three major topics in accordance with the statutes authorizing this funding (California Education Code (EC) Section 39800.1 External link opens in new window or tab. and EC Section 41850.1 External link opens in new window or tab.):

Home-to-School Transportation Reimbursement FAQs

Transportation Services Plan
Funding Formula and Apportionment
Financial Reporting and Audits
Transportation Data Collection

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Transportation Services Plan

  1. Are all school districts and COEs required to have a transportation plan if they do not currently offer transportation services?

    No, the transportation services plan is required only as a condition of apportionment which is based on reported transportation expenditures. A school district or COE not offering transportation should not have any transportation expenditures to report.

  2. Given the absence of the term "charter schools" in the definition of local educational agency (LEA) in Education Code (EC) Section 39800.1, can it be assumed that charter schools are not required to have a transportation services plan?

    Charter schools are not expressly included in statute for purposes of Home-to-School (HTS) Transportation Reimbursement and the associated transportation services plan, therefore, they are not required to adopt such a plan.

  3. Are school districts and COEs required to submit the transportation services plan to the California Department of Education (CDE)?

    No, the plan must be adopted by the school district’s or COE’s governing board on or before April 1, 2023, and does not need to be submitted to CDE. The plan adoption will be checked in the LEA’s annual audit.

  4. Will there be guidance on the elements of the transportation services plan, such as what grades need to be included, and other pertinent information?

    EC Section 39800.1 External link opens in new window or tab. outlines the required elements of the transportation plan. Each LEA can add additional information to its plan that meets local needs.

  5. The statute requires that transportation services plan describes how the LEA “will prioritize planned transportation services for pupils in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and any of grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and pupils who are low income.” Does that mean the plan would take into account students in grades 7-12 who are low income?

    Yes, all pupils who are low-income should be included in the transportation services plan.

  6. For the transportation plan we must have adopted by April 1 each year, is the plan supposed to address the subsequent fiscal/school year or the current fiscal/school year?

    The first year’s plan due in April 2023 is intended to address both the current transportation program in 2022-23 fiscal/school year and the plan describing the prioritized transportation services it will offer to its identified pupils in the 2023-24 fiscal/school year. The requirement to have plan addressing two years would just a one-time nuance and future year plans would address updates to and primarily about the following fiscal/school year.

  7. Does CDE offer guidance on how to mitigate safety concerns as a result of providing students access to public transportation through Local Transit Agencies, specifically, TK-8 students?

    There is no specific guidance provided by CDE. Local Transit Agencies may be able to assist with these concerns.

  8. Can LEAs forego the additional transportation funding in EC 39800.1 and, therefore, not be required to develop the plan?

    There is no opt-out mechanism provided in statute, All LEAs eligible for the funding based on the allocation formula in statute will be apportioned funds. LEAs that chose not to develop a transportation services plan will have an audit finding and a corresponding reversal of funding.

Funding Formula and Apportionment

  1. Which entities will receive HTS Transportation Reimbursement funding?

    Pursuant to EC Section 41850.1 External link opens in new window or tab., school districts and COEs that provide transportation services are eligible for funding. Charter schools are not eligible to receive HTS Transportation Reimbursement. A school district that converted all of its schools to charter schools is not eligible for funding.

  2. Is a school district eligible for HTS Transportation Reimbursement if student transportation is provided by a Joint Powers Authority (JPA)?

    Yes. EC Section 41850.1 External link opens in new window or tab. states “School districts and county offices of education that provide transportation services by means of a joint powers agreement, a cooperative pupil transportation program, or a consortium shall receive transportation allowances pursuant to this section.”

  3. If a school district contracts out for transportation services; is the school district eligible to receive the HTS Transportation Reimbursement?

    Yes, a school district or COE is eligible for funding if it provides transportation services through a third party.

  4. Does an LEA have to apply for HTS Transportation Reimbursement funds or will funding automatically be allocated?

    Allocations will be made to eligible LEAs through the Principal Apportionment based on the statutory formula. There is no application process. If the audit finds that the LEA did not adopt and/or update the transportation services plan, the LEA will have to return funds to the State.

  5. How will the HTS Transportation Reimbursement be calculated?

    In accordance with EC Section 41850.1 External link opens in new window or tab. funding will equal the difference between (a) and (b) below, unless the difference is negative, in which case the HTS Transportation Reimbursement will be zero.

    (a) 60 percent of the home-to-school transportation expenditures reported by the school district or COE from the annual Unaudited Actuals data submission, as determined by its Function 3600 entry in the Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS), consistent with the definition in the California School Accounting Manual (CSAM), for the prior year, excluding capital outlay and nonagency expenditures;

    (b) The amount of LCFF Add-on computed for the prior fiscal year for the former the Home-to-School Transportation program and the Small School District Transportation program, which will be adjusted by cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) commencing in the 2023-24 fiscal year.

    Sample 2022-23 HTS Transportation Reimbursement Calculation
    Component Component Description and Calculation, if applicable Amount
    A
    2021-22 transportation expenditures in SACS Function 3600, excluding capital outlay and nonagency expenditures
    $1,000,000
    B
    Expenditure amount for reimbursement, EC Section 41850.1(a)
    (Component A x 60%)
    $600,000
    C
    2021-22 LCFF Add-on Amount
    $150,000
    D
    2022-23 HTS Transportation Reimbursement (Component B – Component C)
    $450,000
  6. If a LEA expands its transportation services beyond the 2021-22 levels, will the HTS Transportation Reimbursement cover the additional costs? Will there be a limit on the reimbursement amount?

    Statute does not limit the amount of statewide or individual LEA funding available for reimbursement. Statewide funding for the program is set up as a continuous appropriation (EC Section 14002).
    Each fiscal year’s funding amount for the LEA will be calculated using prior year eligible transportation expenditures. An increase in expenditures will result in an increase in state reimbursement, provided that 60 percent of expenditures is greater than the LCFF Add-on amounts for transportation, adjusted by COLA beginning in fiscal year 2023-24.

  7. How will the HTS Transportation Reimbursement be distributed?

    The HTS Transportation Reimbursement will be included in a school district’s or COE’s Principal Apportionment, which also includes funding for several other programs such as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), Special Education funding, Expanded Learning Opportunities Program. For more information, refer to the Principal Apportionment home page at CDE Principal Apportionment Section.

  8. When and how often will the LEAs receive HTS Transportation Reimbursement?

    As noted previously, a school district’s or COE’s HTS Transportation Reimbursement uses data from the Unaudited Actuals data submission. Therefore, in the first year of implementation, funding for fiscal year 2022-23 will be apportioned in June 2023 as part of the 2022-23 Second Principal Apportionment certification after 2021-22 Unaudited Actuals data is made available. In subsequent fiscal years, the Advance and First Principal Apportionment certifications will include an estimate of HTS Transportation Reimbursement based on prior year data, with the final funding for the fiscal year calculated at the Second Principal Apportionment certification when prior year actual unaudited actual data is made available.

  9. Where and when will funding results be available?

    Funding results will be posted via a new funding exhibit as a component of the Principal Apportionment and posted on the CDE Principal Apportionment Section website beginning with the 2022-23 Second Principal Apportionment certification (June 2023).

  10. If a school district’s LCFF entitlement includes transportation add-on funding but the school district does not receive any LCFF State Aid because it is fully funded through local revenue (i.e. basic aid). Will the school district be eligible for HTS Transportation Reimbursement?

    Yes, the school district’s basic aid status for purposes of LCFF funding does not preclude the district from receiving HTS Transportation Reimbursement provided the district is eligible for funding pursuant to EC Section 39800.1 External link opens in new window or tab. and EC Section 41850.1 External link opens in new window or tab.. The LCFF transportation add-on amount will be used as a component in the calculation of HTS Transportation Reimbursement funding for all eligible school districts, regardless of how each district’s LCFF entitlement is funded.

Financial Reporting and Audits

  1. What is the resource and object code combination for the HTS Transportation Reimbursement funding?

    School districts and COEs should use unrestricted resource 0000 and object revenue code 8590 to record the receipt of funds.

  2. How will CDE identify the capital outlay and nonagency expenditures that need to be excluded?

    Capital outlay expenditures are identified by SACS Object Codes 6000-6999 and nonagency expenditures are identified by Goal Codes 7100-7199.

  3. What are some examples of capital outlay expenditures?

    Per the CSAM, capital outlay costs (SACS Object codes 6000-6999) include land, buildings, equipment, and other intangible capital assets, including items acquired through a lease. The most common pupil transportation capital outlay costs are school bus purchases. For a detailed description of capital outlay please navigate to Procedure 330 in the CSAM available at CDE California School Accounting Manual: Definitions, Instructions, & Procedures.

  4. What are some examples of nonagency costs?

    Per the CSAM, nonagency costs (SACS Goal codes 7100-7199) represent activities conducted on behalf of another agency, either LEA or non-LEA, by contract or agreement, where the other agency retains primary responsibility for providing those services. For example, one school district may provide transportation services for the pupils of one or more other schools districts. The providing district reports expenditures associated with the transportation services to a nonagency goal, signifying that the expenditures are incurred on behalf of another entity. The district receiving the services also reports the expenditure for contracted services, and those expenditures will be counted for purposes of calculating that district’s transportation reimbursement. For a detailed description of Nonagency costs please navigate to Procedure 320 in the CSAM available at CDE California School Accounting Manual: Definitions, Instructions, & Procedures.

  5. Can LEAs charge indirect costs for the home to school transportation program?

    Yes, LEAs can charge indirect cost rates at the LEA approved rate.

  6. How will the HTS Transportation Reimbursement interact with other transportation funding, such as other transportation grants?

    Statute does not include any limitations on the school district or COE using HTS Transportation Reimbursement funds concurrently with funding for transportation from other sources.

  7. Will school districts or COEs need to budget for HTS Transportation Reimbursement?

    HTS Transportation Reimbursement funding is based on a school district or COE’s prior year expenditures. The timing of when to budget for the revenue is a local-level decision.

  8. Will HTS Transportation Reimbursement be audited?

    EC Section 41850.1(b) External link opens in new window or tab. specifies that the LEA shall be subject to an audit, including the adoption of the transportation plan required by EC Section 39800.1 External link opens in new window or tab.. The audit guide procedures for this program are in development. The audit guide for K-12 agencies will be adopted by the Education Audit Appeals Panel (EAAP) in early 2023, with more information available at the Education Aduit Appeals Panel External link opens in new window or tab. website.

Transportation Data Collection

  1. What will be the format for the data collection required in EC Section 41850.1? What demographic data will be collected?

    CDE is still developing the approach to the data collection requirements contained in EC Section 41850.1(c) External link opens in new window or tab..

  2. Will there be detailed information relative to what other data needs to be collected like the number of students and the number of buses?

    Details of the data collection are still being determined.

  3. When will the LEAs be required to report transportation data to CDE?

    Details of the data collection are still being determined.

  4. Will this data collected pursuant to EC Section 41850.1 be available on the CDE website annually?

    Yes, EC Section 41850.1(c) External link opens in new window or tab. requires CDE to publish transportation data and this will be posted after data has been collected, compiled, and readied for publication.

Questions:  

Transportation Plan and Data Collection | Office of School Transportation | HTSRP@cde.ca.gov
Funding Formula and Apportionment | Principal Apportionment Section | PASE@cde.ca.gov
Financial Reporting | Fiscal Oversight & Support Office | sacsinfo@cde.ca.gov

Last Reviewed: Friday, December 23, 2022