Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB0255
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Full Text of HB0255  99th General Assembly



State of Illinois
2015 and 2016


Introduced , by Rep. Joe Sosnowski


105 ILCS 5/29-2  from Ch. 122, par. 29-2
105 ILCS 5/29-3  from Ch. 122, par. 29-3
105 ILCS 5/29-4  from Ch. 122, par. 29-4
105 ILCS 5/29-5  from Ch. 122, par. 29-5
105 ILCS 5/29-5.2  from Ch. 122, par. 29-5.2

    Amends the Transportation Article of the School Code. Provides that a school board shall provide free transportation for pupils residing at a distance of 2 miles (instead of one and one-half miles) or more from school. Makes related changes in provisions concerning the transportation of pupils less than that distance from school, pupils attending a charter school or nonpublic school, reimbursement by the State for transportation, and reimbursement of a custodian of a qualifying pupil for transportation expenses paid by the custodian. Effective July 1, 2015.

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HB0255LRB099 03932 NHT 23948 b

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
529-2, 29-3, 29-4, 29-5, and 29-5.2 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/29-2)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-2)
7    Sec. 29-2. Transportation of pupils less than 2 one and
8one-half miles from school. School boards may provide
9transportation for pupils living less than 2 one and one-half
10miles as measured by the customary route of travel from the
11school attended and may make a charge for such transportation
12in an amount of not to exceed the cost thereof, which shall
13include a reasonable allowance for depreciation of the vehicles
14so used.
15(Source: Laws 1961, p. 31.)
16    (105 ILCS 5/29-3)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-3)
17    Sec. 29-3. Transportation in school districts. School
18boards of community consolidated districts, community unit
19districts, consolidated districts, consolidated high school
20districts, optional elementary unit districts, combined high
21school - unit districts, combined school districts if the
22combined district includes any district which was previously



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



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1    In addition to the other requirements of this Section, each
2school board may provide free transportation for any pupil
3residing within 2 1 1/2 miles from the school attended where
4conditions are such that walking, either to or from the school
5to which a pupil is assigned for attendance or to or from a
6pick-up point or bus stop, constitutes a serious hazard to the
7safety of the pupil due to vehicular traffic or rail crossings.
8Such transportation shall not be provided if adequate
9transportation for the public is available.
10    The determination as to what constitutes a serious safety
11hazard shall be made by the school board, in accordance with
12guidelines promulgated by the Illinois Department of
13Transportation, in consultation with the State Superintendent
14of Education. A school board, on written petition of the parent
15or guardian of a pupil for whom adequate transportation for the
16public is alleged not to exist because the pupil is required to
17walk along normally traveled roads or streets where walking is
18alleged to constitute a serious safety hazard due to vehicular
19traffic or rail crossings, or who is required to walk between
20the pupil's home and assigned school or between the pupil's
21home or assigned school and a pick-up point or bus stop along
22roads or streets where walking is alleged to constitute a
23serious safety hazard due to vehicular traffic or rail
24crossings, shall conduct a study and make findings, which the
25Department of Transportation shall review and approve or
26disapprove as provided in this Section, to determine whether a



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1serious safety hazard exists as alleged in the petition. The
2Department of Transportation shall review the findings of the
3school board and shall approve or disapprove the school board's
4determination that a serious safety hazard exists within 30
5days after the school board submits its findings to the
6Department. 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 verify that the conditions have not changed. No
11action shall lie against the school board, the State
12Superintendent of Education or the Illinois Department of
13Transportation for decisions made in accordance with this
14Section. The provisions of the Administrative Review Law and
15all amendments and modifications thereof and the rules adopted
16pursuant thereto shall apply to and govern all proceedings
17instituted for the judicial review of final administrative
18decisions of the Department of Transportation under this
20(Source: P.A. 94-439, eff. 8-4-05; 95-903, eff. 8-25-08.)
21    (105 ILCS 5/29-4)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-4)
22    Sec. 29-4. Pupils attending a charter school or nonpublic
23school. The school board of any school district that provides
24any school bus or conveyance for transporting pupils to and
25from the public schools shall afford transportation, without



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1cost, for children who attend a charter school or any school
2other than a public school, who reside at least 2 1 1/2 miles
3from the school attended, and who reside on or along the
4highway constituting the regular route of such public school
5bus or conveyance, such transportation to extend from some
6point on the regular route nearest or most easily accessible to
7their homes to and from the school attended, or to or from a
8point on such regular route which is nearest or most easily
9accessible to the school attended by such children. Nothing
10herein shall be construed to prevent high school districts from
11transporting public or non-public elementary school pupils on a
12regular route where deemed appropriate. The elementary
13district in which such pupils reside shall enter into a
14contractual agreement with the high school district providing
15the service, make payments accordingly, and make claims to the
16State in the amount of such contractual payments. The person in
17charge of any charter school or school other than a public
18school shall certify on a form to be provided by the State
19Superintendent of Education, the names and addresses of pupils
20transported and when such pupils were in attendance at the
21school. If any such children reside within 2 1 1/2 miles from
22the school attended, the school board shall afford such
23transportation to such children on the same basis as it
24provides transportation for its own pupils residing within that
25distance from the school attended.
26    Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude a school



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1district from operating separate regular bus routes, subject to
2the limitations of this Section, for the benefit of children
3who attend a charter school or any school other than a public
4school where the operation of such routes is safer, more
5economical and more efficient than if such school district were
6precluded from operating separate regular bus routes.
7    If a school district is required by this Section to afford
8transportation without cost for any child who is not a resident
9of the district, the school district providing such
10transportation is entitled to reimbursement from the school
11district in which the child resides for the cost of furnishing
12that transportation, including a reasonable allowance for
13depreciation on each vehicle so used. The school district where
14the child resides shall reimburse the district providing the
15transportation for such costs, by the 10th of each month or on
16such less frequent schedule as may be agreed to by the 2 school
18(Source: P.A. 91-407, eff. 8-3-99.)
19    (105 ILCS 5/29-5)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-5)
20    Sec. 29-5. Reimbursement by State for transportation. Any
21school district, maintaining a school, transporting resident
22pupils to another school district's vocational program,
23offered through a joint agreement approved by the State Board
24of Education, as provided in Section 10-22.22 or transporting
25its resident pupils to a school which meets the standards for



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1recognition as established by the State Board of Education
2which provides transportation meeting the standards of safety,
3comfort, convenience, efficiency and operation prescribed by
4the State Board of Education for resident pupils in
5kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 who: (a) reside at
6least 2 1 1/2 miles as measured by the customary route of
7travel, from the school attended; or (b) reside in areas where
8conditions are such that walking constitutes a hazard to the
9safety of the child when determined under Section 29-3; and (c)
10are transported to the school attended from pick-up points at
11the beginning of the school day and back again at the close of
12the school day or transported to and from their assigned
13attendance centers during the school day, shall be reimbursed
14by the State as hereinafter provided in this Section.
15    The State will pay the cost of transporting eligible pupils
16less the assessed valuation in a dual school district
17maintaining secondary grades 9 to 12 inclusive times a
18qualifying rate of .05%; in elementary school districts
19maintaining grades K to 8 times a qualifying rate of .06%; and
20in unit districts maintaining grades K to 12, including
21optional elementary unit districts and combined high school -
22unit districts, times a qualifying rate of .07%; provided that
23for optional elementary unit districts and combined high school -
24 unit districts, assessed valuation for high school purposes,
25as defined in Article 11E of this Code, must be used. To be
26eligible to receive reimbursement in excess of 4/5 of the cost



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1to transport eligible pupils, a school district shall have a
2Transportation Fund tax rate of at least .12%. If a school
3district does not have a .12% Transportation Fund tax rate, the
4amount of its claim in excess of 4/5 of the cost of
5transporting pupils shall be reduced by the sum arrived at by
6subtracting the Transportation Fund tax rate from .12% and
7multiplying that amount by the districts equalized or assessed
8valuation, provided, that in no case shall said reduction
9result in reimbursement of less than 4/5 of the cost to
10transport eligible pupils.
11    The minimum amount to be received by a district is $16
12times the number of eligible pupils transported.
13    When calculating the reimbursement for transportation
14costs, the State Board of Education may not deduct the number
15of pupils enrolled in early education programs from the number
16of pupils eligible for reimbursement if the pupils enrolled in
17the early education programs are transported at the same time
18as other eligible pupils.
19    Any such district transporting resident pupils during the
20school day to an area vocational school or another school
21district's vocational program more than 2 1 1/2 miles from the
22school attended, as provided in Sections 10-22.20a and
2310-22.22, shall be reimbursed by the State for 4/5 of the cost
24of transporting eligible pupils.
25    School day means that period of time which the pupil is
26required to be in attendance for instructional purposes.



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1    If a pupil is at a location within the school district
2other than his residence for child care purposes at the time
3for transportation to school, that location may be considered
4for purposes of determining the 2 1 1/2 miles from the school
6    Claims for reimbursement that include children who attend
7any school other than a public school shall show the number of
8such children transported.
9    Claims for reimbursement under this Section shall not be
10paid for the transportation of pupils for whom transportation
11costs are claimed for payment under other Sections of this Act.
12    The allowable direct cost of transporting pupils for
13regular, vocational, and special education pupil
14transportation shall be limited to the sum of the cost of
15physical examinations required for employment as a school bus
16driver; the salaries of full or part-time drivers and school
17bus maintenance personnel; employee benefits excluding
18Illinois municipal retirement payments, social security
19payments, unemployment insurance payments and workers'
20compensation insurance premiums; expenditures to independent
21carriers who operate school buses; payments to other school
22districts for pupil transportation services; pre-approved
23contractual expenditures for computerized bus scheduling; the
24cost of gasoline, oil, tires, and other supplies necessary for
25the operation of school buses; the cost of converting buses'
26gasoline engines to more fuel efficient engines or to engines



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



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1the above allowable costs school districts shall also claim all
2transportation supervisory salary costs, including Illinois
3municipal retirement payments, and all transportation related
4building and building maintenance costs without limitation.
5    Special education allowable costs shall also include
6expenditures for the salaries of attendants or aides for that
7portion of the time they assist special education pupils while
8in transit and expenditures for parents and public carriers for
9transporting special education pupils when pre-approved by the
10State Superintendent of Education.
11    Indirect costs shall be included in the reimbursement claim
12for districts which own and operate their own school buses.
13Such indirect costs shall include administrative costs, or any
14costs attributable to transporting pupils from their
15attendance centers to another school building for
16instructional purposes. No school district which owns and
17operates its own school buses may claim reimbursement for
18indirect costs which exceed 5% of the total allowable direct
19costs for pupil transportation.
20    The State Board of Education shall prescribe uniform
21regulations for determining the above standards and shall
22prescribe forms of cost accounting and standards of determining
23reasonable depreciation. Such depreciation shall include the
24cost of equipping school buses with the safety features
25required by law or by the rules, regulations and standards
26promulgated by the State Board of Education, and the Department



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1of Transportation for the safety and construction of school
2buses provided, however, any equipment cost reimbursed by the
3Department of Transportation for equipping school buses with
4such safety equipment shall be deducted from the allowable cost
5in the computation of reimbursement under this Section in the
6same percentage as the cost of the equipment is depreciated.
7    On or before August 15, annually, the chief school
8administrator for the district shall certify to the State
9Superintendent of Education the district's claim for
10reimbursement for the school year ending on June 30 next
11preceding. The State Superintendent of Education shall check
12and approve the claims and prepare the vouchers showing the
13amounts due for district reimbursement claims. Each fiscal
14year, the State Superintendent of Education shall prepare and
15transmit the first 3 vouchers to the Comptroller on the 30th
16day of September, December and March, respectively, and the
17final voucher, no later than June 20.
18    If the amount appropriated for transportation
19reimbursement is insufficient to fund total claims for any
20fiscal year, the State Board of Education shall reduce each
21school district's allowable costs and flat grant amount
22proportionately to make total adjusted claims equal the total
23amount appropriated.
24    For purposes of calculating claims for reimbursement under
25this Section for any school year beginning July 1, 1998, or
26thereafter, the equalized assessed valuation for a school



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1district used to compute reimbursement shall be computed in the
2same manner as it is computed under paragraph (2) of subsection
3(G) of Section 18-8.05.
4    All reimbursements received from the State shall be
5deposited into the district's transportation fund or into the
6fund from which the allowable expenditures were made.
7    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any school
8district receiving a payment under this Section or under
9Section 14-7.02, 14-7.02b, or 14-13.01 of this Code may
10classify all or a portion of the funds that it receives in a
11particular fiscal year or from general State aid pursuant to
12Section 18-8.05 of this Code as funds received in connection
13with any funding program for which it is entitled to receive
14funds from the State in that fiscal year (including, without
15limitation, any funding program referenced in this Section),
16regardless of the source or timing of the receipt. The district
17may not classify more funds as funds received in connection
18with the funding program than the district is entitled to
19receive in that fiscal year for that program. Any
20classification by a district must be made by a resolution of
21its board of education. The resolution must identify the amount
22of any payments or general State aid to be classified under
23this paragraph and must specify the funding program to which
24the funds are to be treated as received in connection
25therewith. This resolution is controlling as to the
26classification of funds referenced therein. A certified copy of



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1the resolution must be sent to the State Superintendent of
2Education. The resolution shall still take effect even though a
3copy of the resolution has not been sent to the State
4Superintendent of Education in a timely manner. No
5classification under this paragraph by a district shall affect
6the total amount or timing of money the district is entitled to
7receive under this Code. No classification under this paragraph
8by a district shall in any way relieve the district from or
9affect any requirements that otherwise would apply with respect
10to that funding program, including any accounting of funds by
11source, reporting expenditures by original source and purpose,
12reporting requirements, or requirements of providing services.
13    Any school district with a population of not more than
14500,000 must deposit all funds received under this Article into
15the transportation fund and use those funds for the provision
16of transportation services.
17(Source: P.A. 95-903, eff. 8-25-08; 96-1264, eff. 1-1-11.)
18    (105 ILCS 5/29-5.2)  (from Ch. 122, par. 29-5.2)
19    Sec. 29-5.2. Reimbursement of transportation.
20    (a) Reimbursement. A custodian of a qualifying pupil shall
21be entitled to reimbursement in accordance with procedures
22established by the State Board of Education for qualified
23transportation expenses paid by such custodian during the
24school year.
25    (b) Definitions. As used in this Section:



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1        (1) "Qualifying pupil" means an individual referred to
2    in subsection (c), as well as an individual who:
3            (A) is a resident of the State of Illinois; and
4            (B) is under the age of 21 at the close of the
5        school year for which reimbursement is sought; and
6            (C) during the school year for which reimbursement
7        is sought was a full-time pupil enrolled in a
8        kindergarten through 12th grade educational program at
9        a school which was a distance of 2 1 1/2 miles or more
10        from the residence of such pupil; and
11            (D) did not live within 2 1 1/2 miles from the
12        school in which the pupil was enrolled or have access
13        to transportation provided entirely at public expense
14        to and from that school and a point within 2 1 1/2
15        miles of the pupil's residence, measured in a manner
16        consistent with Section 29-3.
17        (2) "Qualified transportation expenses" means costs
18    reasonably incurred by the custodian to transport, for the
19    purposes of attending regularly scheduled day-time
20    classes, a qualifying pupil between such qualifying
21    pupil's residence and the school at which such qualifying
22    pupil is enrolled, as limited in subsection (e) of this
23    Section, and shall include automobile expenses at the
24    standard mileage rate allowed by the United States Internal
25    Revenue Service as reimbursement for business
26    transportation expense, as well as payments to mass transit



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1    carriers, private carriers, and contractual fees for
2    transportation.
3        (3) "School" means a public or nonpublic elementary or
4    secondary school in Illinois, attendance at which
5    satisfies the requirements of Section 26-1.
6        (4) Two One and one-half miles distance. For the
7    purposes of this Section, 2 1 1/2 miles distance shall be
8    measured in a manner consistent with Section 29-3.
9        (5) Custodian. The term "custodian" shall mean, with
10    respect to a qualifying pupil, an Illinois resident who is
11    the parent, or parents, or legal guardian of such
12    qualifying pupil.
13    (c) An individual, resident of the State of Illinois, who
14is under the age of 21 at the close of the school year for which
15reimbursement is sought and who, during that school year, was a
16full time pupil enrolled in a kindergarten through 12th grade
17educational program at a school which was within 2 1 1/2 miles
18of the pupil's residence, measured in a manner consistent with
19Section 29-3, is a "qualifying pupil" within the meaning of
20this Section if (i) such pupil attends public school in a
21school district organized under Article 34 of this Code and
22must walk or otherwise travel along a safe passage route, as
23designated by the school board, to reach school or return home
24or (ii) such pupil did not have access to transportation
25provided entirely at public expense to and from that school and
26the pupil's residence and conditions were such that walking



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1would have constituted a serious hazard to the safety of the
2pupil due to vehicular traffic. The determination of what
3constitutes a serious safety hazard within the meaning of this
4subsection shall in each case be made by the Department of
5Transportation in accordance with guidelines which the
6Department, in consultation with the State Superintendent of
7Education, shall promulgate. Each custodian intending to file
8an application for reimbursement under subsection (d) for
9expenditures incurred or to be incurred with respect to a pupil
10asserted to be a qualified pupil as an individual referred to
11in this subsection shall first file with the appropriate
12regional superintendent, on forms provided by the State Board
13of Education, a request for a determination that a serious
14safety hazard within the meaning of this subsection (c) exists
15with respect to such pupil. Custodians shall file such forms
16with the appropriate regional superintendents not later than
17February 1 of the school year for which reimbursement will be
18sought for transmittal by the regional superintendents to the
19Department of Transportation not later than February 15; except
20that any custodian who previously received a determination that
21a serious safety hazard exists need not resubmit such a request
22for 4 years but instead may certify on their application for
23reimbursement to the State Board of Education referred to in
24subsection (d), that the conditions found to be hazardous, as
25previously determined by the Department, remain unchanged. The
26Department shall make its determination on all requests so



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1transmitted to it within 30 days, and shall thereupon forward
2notice of each determination which it has made to the
3appropriate regional superintendent for immediate transmittal
4to the custodian affected thereby. The determination of the
5Department relative to what constitutes a serious safety hazard
6within the meaning of subsection (c) with respect to any pupil
7shall be deemed an "administrative decision" as defined in
8Section 3-101 of the Administrative Review Law; and the
9Administrative Review Law and all amendments and modifications
10thereof and rules adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to and
11govern all proceedings instituted for the judicial review of
12final administrative decisions of the Department of
13Transportation under this subsection.
14    (d) Request for reimbursement. A custodian, including a
15custodian for a pupil asserted to be a qualified pupil as an
16individual referred to in subsection (c), who applies in
17accordance with procedures established by the State Board of
18Education shall be reimbursed in accordance with the dollar
19limits set out in this Section. Such procedures shall require
20application no later than June 30 of each year, documentation
21as to eligibility, and adequate evidence of expenditures;
22except that for reimbursement sought pursuant to subsection (c)
23for the 1985-1986 school year, such procedures shall require
24application within 21 days after the determination of the
25Department of Transportation with respect to that school year
26is transmitted by the regional superintendent to the affected



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1custodian. In the absence of contemporaneous records, an
2affidavit by the custodian may be accepted as evidence of an
3expenditure. If the amount appropriated for such reimbursement
4for any year is less than the amount due each custodian, it
5shall be apportioned on the basis of the requests approved.
6Regional Superintendents shall be reimbursed for such costs of
7administering the program, including costs incurred in
8administering the provisions of subsection (c), as the State
9Board of Education determines are reasonable and necessary.
10    (e) Dollar limit on amount of reimbursement. Reimbursement
11to custodians for transportation expenses incurred during the
121985-1986 school year, payable in fiscal year 1987, shall be
13equal to the lesser of (1) the actual qualified transportation
14expenses, or (2) $50 per pupil. Reimbursement to custodians for
15transportation expenses incurred during the 1986-1987 school
16year, payable in fiscal year 1988, shall be equal to the lesser
17of (1) the actual qualified transportation expenses, or (2)
18$100 per pupil. For reimbursements of qualified transportation
19expenses incurred in 1987-1988 and thereafter, the amount of
20reimbursement shall not exceed the prior year's State
21reimbursement per pupil for transporting pupils as required by
22Section 29-3 and other provisions of this Article.
23    (f) Rules and regulations. The State Board of Education
24shall adopt rules to implement this Section.
25    (g) The provisions of this amendatory Act of 1986 shall
26apply according to their terms to the entire 1985-1986 school



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1year, including any portion of that school year which elapses
2prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act, and to each
3subsequent school year.
4    (h) The chief administrative officer of each school shall
5notify custodians of qualifying pupils that reimbursements are
6available. Notification shall occur by the first Monday in
7November of the school year for which reimbursement is
9(Source: P.A. 98-1057, eff. 1-1-15.)
10    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,