Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3286
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Full Text of SB3286  103rd General Assembly



State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/7/2024, by Sen. Robert Peters


105 ILCS 5/12-11.5  from Ch. 122, par. 12-11.5
105 ILCS 5/29-3  from Ch. 122, par. 29-3
105 ILCS 5/29-5  from Ch. 122, par. 29-5

    Amends the Transportation Article of the School Code. With respect to the provision of free transportation for pupils, allows a school district to pay the public transit fees of pupils instead (rather than providing an exception for pupils for whom the school board certifies to the State Board of Education that adequate transportation for the public is available). In provisions allowing for free transportation if conditions are such that walking constitutes a serious hazard, removes the provision specifying that such transportation shall not be provided if adequate transportation for the public is available. Makes related changes. Effective July 1, 2025.

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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Sections
512-11.5, 29-3, and 29-5 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/12-11.5)  (from Ch. 122, par. 12-11.5)
7    Sec. 12-11.5. Transportation of pupils. If in the
8discretion of the board of education sufficient moneys of the
9district are available after payment of the other expenses of
10the district, including tuition, may provide free
11transportation for or pay the public transit fees of the
12pupils of the their district not living within one and
13one-half miles of a high school which they may lawfully attend
14to the most convenient high school which such pupils may
15lawfully attend under the provisions of this Code Act, or
16reimburse pupils living in a portion of such district which
17cannot be reached by bus or train for the reasonable cost of
18their transportation, or for the amount necessarily expended
19by them for transportation in attending a high school approved
20by such board.
21(Source: Laws 1961, p. 31.)
22    (105 ILCS 5/29-3)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-3)



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1    Sec. 29-3. Transportation in school districts. School
2boards of community consolidated districts, community unit
3districts, consolidated districts, consolidated high school
4districts, optional elementary unit districts, combined high
5school - unit districts, combined school districts if the
6combined district includes any district which was previously
7required to provide transportation, and any newly created
8elementary or high school districts resulting from a high
9school - unit conversion, a unit to dual conversion, or a
10multi-unit conversion if the newly created district includes
11any area that was previously required to provide
12transportation shall provide free transportation for or pay
13the public transit fees of pupils residing at a distance of one
14and one-half miles or more from any school to which they are
15assigned for attendance maintained within the district, except
16for those pupils for whom the school board shall certify to the
17State Board of Education that adequate transportation for the
18public is available.
19    For the purpose of this Act 1 1/2 miles distance shall be
20from the exit of the property where the pupil resides to the
21point where pupils are normally unloaded at the school
22attended; such distance shall be measured by determining the
23shortest distance on normally traveled roads or streets.
24    Such school board may comply with the provisions of this
25Section by providing free transportation for pupils to and
26from an assigned school and a pick-up point located not more



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1than one and one-half miles from the home of each pupil
2assigned to such point.
3    For the purposes of this Act "adequate transportation for
4the public" shall be assumed to exist for such pupils as can
5reach school by walking, one way, along normally traveled
6roads or streets less than 1 1/2 miles irrespective of the
7distance the pupil is transported by public transportation.
8    In addition to the other requirements of this Section,
9each school board may provide free transportation for any
10pupil residing within 1 1/2 miles from the school attended
11where conditions are such that walking, either to or from the
12school to which a pupil is assigned for attendance or to or
13from a pick-up point or bus stop, constitutes a serious hazard
14to the safety of the pupil due to either (i) vehicular traffic
15or rail crossings or (ii) a course or pattern of criminal
16activity, as defined in Section 10 of the Illinois Streetgang
17Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act. Such transportation shall
18not be provided if adequate transportation for the public is
20    The determination as to what constitutes a serious safety
21hazard shall be made by the school board, in accordance with
22guidelines promulgated by the Illinois Department of
23Transportation regarding vehicular traffic or rail crossings
24or in accordance with guidelines regarding a course or pattern
25of criminal activity, as determined by the local law
26enforcement agency, in consultation with the State



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1Superintendent of Education. A school board, on written
2petition of the parent or guardian of a pupil for whom adequate
3transportation for the public is alleged not to exist because
4the pupil is required to walk along normally traveled roads or
5streets where walking is alleged to constitute a serious
6safety hazard due to either (i) vehicular traffic or rail
7crossings or (ii) a course or pattern of criminal activity, or
8who is required to walk between the pupil's home and assigned
9school or between the pupil's home or assigned school and a
10pick-up point or bus stop along roads or streets where walking
11is alleged to constitute a serious safety hazard due to either
12(i) vehicular traffic or rail crossings or (ii) a course or
13pattern of criminal activity, shall conduct a study and make
14findings, which the Department of Transportation, with respect
15to vehicular traffic or rail crossings, or the State Board of
16Education, in consultation with the local law enforcement
17agency, with respect to a course or pattern of criminal
18activity, shall review and approve or disapprove as provided
19in this Section, to determine whether a serious safety hazard
20exists as alleged in the petition. The Department of
21Transportation shall review the findings of the school board
22concerning vehicular traffic or rail crossings and shall
23approve or disapprove the school board's determination that a
24serious safety hazard exists within 30 days after the school
25board submits its findings to the Department of
26Transportation. The State Board of Education, in consultation



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1with the local law enforcement agency, shall review the
2findings of the school board concerning a course or pattern of
3criminal activity and shall approve or disapprove the school
4board's determination that a serious safety hazard exists
5within 30 days after the school board submits its findings to
6the State Board. The school board shall annually review the
7conditions and determine whether or not the hazardous
8conditions remain unchanged. The State Superintendent of
9Education may request that the Illinois Department of
10Transportation or the local law enforcement agency verify that
11the conditions have not changed. No action shall lie against
12the school board, the State Superintendent of Education, the
13Illinois Department of Transportation, the State Board of
14Education, or a local law enforcement agency for decisions
15made in accordance with this Section. The provisions of the
16Administrative Review Law and all amendments and modifications
17thereof and the rules adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to
18and govern all proceedings instituted for the judicial review
19of final administrative decisions of the Department of
20Transportation, the State Board of Education, or a local law
21enforcement agency under this Section. At all points, except
22when otherwise mentioned in this Section, the local
23enforcement agency is authorized to determine what constitutes
24a course or pattern of criminal activity.
25    The changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of
26the 100th General Assembly do not apply to a school district



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1organized under Article 34 of this Code.
2(Source: P.A. 100-1142, eff. 11-28-18.)
3    (105 ILCS 5/29-5)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-5)
4    Sec. 29-5. Reimbursement by State for transportation. Any
5school district, maintaining a school, transporting resident
6pupils to another school district's vocational program,
7offered through a joint agreement approved by the State Board
8of Education, as provided in Section 10-22.22 or transporting
9its resident pupils to a school which meets the standards for
10recognition as established by the State Board of Education
11which provides transportation meeting the standards of safety,
12comfort, convenience, efficiency and operation prescribed by
13the State Board of Education for resident pupils in
14kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 who: (a) reside at
15least 1 1/2 miles as measured by the customary route of travel,
16from the school attended; or (b) reside in areas where
17conditions are such that walking constitutes a hazard to the
18safety of the child when determined under Section 29-3; and
19(c) are transported to the school attended from pick-up points
20at the beginning of the school day and back again at the close
21of the school day or transported to and from their assigned
22attendance centers during the school day, shall be reimbursed
23by the State as hereinafter provided in this Section.
24    The State will pay the prorated allowable cost of
25transporting eligible pupils less the real equalized assessed



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1valuation as computed under paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of
2Section 18-8.15 in a dual school district maintaining
3secondary grades 9 to 12 inclusive times a qualifying rate of
4.05%; in elementary school districts maintaining grades K to 8
5times a qualifying rate of .06%; and in unit districts
6maintaining grades K to 12, including partial elementary unit
7districts formed pursuant to Article 11E, times a qualifying
8rate of .07%. To be eligible to receive reimbursement in
9excess of 4/5 of the cost to transport eligible pupils, a
10school district or partial elementary unit district formed
11pursuant to Article 11E shall have a Transportation Fund tax
12rate of at least .12%. The Transportation Fund tax rate for a
13partial elementary unit district formed pursuant Article 11E
14shall be the combined elementary and high school rates
15pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Section
1618-8.15. If a school district or partial elementary unit
17district formed pursuant to Article 11E does not have a .12%
18Transportation Fund tax rate, the amount of its claim in
19excess of 4/5 of the cost of transporting pupils shall be
20reduced by the sum arrived at by subtracting the
21Transportation Fund tax rate from .12% and multiplying that
22amount by the district's real equalized assessed valuation as
23computed under paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of Section
2418-8.15, provided that in no case shall said reduction result
25in reimbursement of less than 4/5 of the cost to transport
26eligible pupils.



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1    The minimum amount to be received by a district is $16
2times the number of eligible pupils transported.
3    When calculating the reimbursement for transportation
4costs, the State Board of Education may not deduct the number
5of pupils enrolled in early education programs from the number
6of pupils eligible for reimbursement if the pupils enrolled in
7the early education programs are transported at the same time
8as other eligible pupils.
9    Any such district transporting resident pupils during the
10school day to an area vocational school or another school
11district's vocational program more than 1 1/2 miles from the
12school attended, as provided in Sections 10-22.20a and
1310-22.22, shall be reimbursed by the State for 4/5 of the cost
14of transporting eligible pupils.
15    School day means that period of time during which the
16pupil is required to be in attendance for instructional
18    If a pupil is at a location within the school district
19other than his residence for child care purposes at the time
20for transportation to school, that location may be considered
21for purposes of determining the 1 1/2 miles from the school
23    Claims for reimbursement that include children who attend
24any school other than a public school shall show the number of
25such children transported.
26    Claims for reimbursement under this Section shall not be



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1paid for the transportation of pupils for whom transportation
2costs are claimed for payment under other Sections of this
4    The allowable direct cost of transporting pupils for
5regular, vocational, and special education pupil
6transportation shall be limited to the sum of the cost of
7physical examinations required for employment as a school bus
8driver; the salaries of full-time or part-time drivers and
9school bus maintenance personnel; employee benefits excluding
10Illinois municipal retirement payments, social security
11payments, unemployment insurance payments and workers'
12compensation insurance premiums; expenditures to independent
13carriers who operate school buses; payments to other school
14districts for pupil transportation services; pre-approved
15contractual expenditures for computerized bus scheduling;
16expenditures for housing assistance and homeless prevention
17under Sections 1-17 and 1-18 of the Education for Homeless
18Children Act that are not in excess of the school district's
19actual costs for providing transportation services and are not
20otherwise claimed in another State or federal grant that
21permits those costs to a parent, a legal guardian, any other
22person who enrolled a pupil, or a homeless assistance agency
23that is part of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance
24Act's continuum of care for the area in which the district is
25located; the cost of gasoline, oil, tires, and other supplies
26necessary for the operation of school buses; the cost of



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1converting buses' gasoline engines to more fuel efficient
2engines or to engines which use alternative energy sources;
3the cost of travel to meetings and workshops conducted by the
4regional superintendent or the State Superintendent of
5Education pursuant to the standards established by the
6Secretary of State under Section 6-106 of the Illinois Vehicle
7Code to improve the driving skills of school bus drivers; the
8cost of maintenance of school buses including parts and
9materials used; expenditures for leasing transportation
10vehicles, except interest and service charges; the cost of
11insurance and licenses for transportation vehicles;
12expenditures for the rental of transportation equipment; plus
13a depreciation allowance of 20% for 5 years for school buses
14and vehicles approved for transporting pupils to and from
15school and a depreciation allowance of 10% for 10 years for
16other transportation equipment so used. Each school year, if a
17school district has made expenditures to the Regional
18Transportation Authority or any of its service boards, a mass
19transit district, or an urban transportation district under an
20intergovernmental agreement with the district to provide for
21the transportation of pupils and if the public transit carrier
22received direct payment for services or passes from a school
23district within its service area during the 2000-2001 school
24year, then the allowable direct cost of transporting pupils
25for regular, vocational, and special education pupil
26transportation shall also include the expenditures that the



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1district has made to the public transit carrier. Each school
2year, if a school district has made expenditures to pay the
3public transit fees of pupils under Section 29-3, then the
4allowable direct cost of transporting pupils shall also
5include the expenditures that the district has made to pay
6those public transit fees. In addition to the above allowable
7costs, school districts shall also claim all transportation
8supervisory salary costs, including Illinois municipal
9retirement payments, and all transportation related building
10and building maintenance costs without limitation.
11    Special education allowable costs shall also include
12expenditures for the salaries of attendants or aides for that
13portion of the time they assist special education pupils while
14in transit and expenditures for parents and public carriers
15for transporting special education pupils when pre-approved by
16the State Superintendent of Education.
17    Indirect costs shall be included in the reimbursement
18claim for districts which own and operate their own school
19buses. Such indirect costs shall include administrative costs,
20or any costs attributable to transporting pupils from their
21attendance centers to another school building for
22instructional purposes. No school district which owns and
23operates its own school buses may claim reimbursement for
24indirect costs which exceed 5% of the total allowable direct
25costs for pupil transportation.
26    The State Board of Education shall prescribe uniform



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1regulations for determining the above standards and shall
2prescribe forms of cost accounting and standards of
3determining reasonable depreciation. Such depreciation shall
4include the cost of equipping school buses with the safety
5features required by law or by the rules, regulations and
6standards promulgated by the State Board of Education, and the
7Department of Transportation for the safety and construction
8of school buses provided, however, any equipment cost
9reimbursed by the Department of Transportation for equipping
10school buses with such safety equipment shall be deducted from
11the allowable cost in the computation of reimbursement under
12this Section in the same percentage as the cost of the
13equipment is depreciated.
14    On or before August 15, annually, the chief school
15administrator for the district shall certify to the State
16Superintendent of Education the district's claim for
17reimbursement for the school year ending on June 30 next
18preceding. The State Superintendent of Education shall check
19and approve the claims and prepare the vouchers showing the
20amounts due for district reimbursement claims. Each fiscal
21year, the State Superintendent of Education shall prepare and
22transmit the first 3 vouchers to the Comptroller on the 30th
23day of September, December and March, respectively, and the
24final voucher, no later than June 20.
25    If the amount appropriated for transportation
26reimbursement is insufficient to fund total claims for any



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1fiscal year, the State Board of Education shall reduce each
2school district's allowable costs and flat grant amount
3proportionately to make total adjusted claims equal the total
4amount appropriated.
5    For purposes of calculating claims for reimbursement under
6this Section for any school year beginning July 1, 2016, the
7equalized assessed valuation for a school district or partial
8elementary unit district formed pursuant to Article 11E used
9to compute reimbursement shall be the real equalized assessed
10valuation as computed under paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of
11Section 18-8.15.
12    All reimbursements received from the State shall be
13deposited into the district's transportation fund or into the
14fund from which the allowable expenditures were made.
15    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any school
16district receiving a payment under this Section or under
17Section 14-7.02, 14-7.02b, or 14-13.01 of this Code may
18classify all or a portion of the funds that it receives in a
19particular fiscal year or from State aid pursuant to Section
2018-8.15 of this Code as funds received in connection with any
21funding program for which it is entitled to receive funds from
22the State in that fiscal year (including, without limitation,
23any funding program referenced in this Section), regardless of
24the source or timing of the receipt. The district may not
25classify more funds as funds received in connection with the
26funding program than the district is entitled to receive in



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1that fiscal year for that program. Any classification by a
2district must be made by a resolution of its board of
3education. The resolution must identify the amount of any
4payments or general State aid to be classified under this
5paragraph and must specify the funding program to which the
6funds are to be treated as received in connection therewith.
7This resolution is controlling as to the classification of
8funds referenced therein. A certified copy of the resolution
9must be sent to the State Superintendent of Education. The
10resolution shall still take effect even though a copy of the
11resolution has not been sent to the State Superintendent of
12Education in a timely manner. No classification under this
13paragraph by a district shall affect the total amount or
14timing of money the district is entitled to receive under this
15Code. No classification under this paragraph by a district
16shall in any way relieve the district from or affect any
17requirements that otherwise would apply with respect to that
18funding program, including any accounting of funds by source,
19reporting expenditures by original source and purpose,
20reporting requirements, or requirements of providing services.
21    Any school district with a population of not more than
22500,000 must deposit all funds received under this Article
23into the transportation fund and use those funds for the
24provision of transportation services.
25(Source: P.A. 102-539, eff. 8-20-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22.)
26    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,



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