Pupil Transportation Rules

Rules 91 & 92

  • Rule 91Driver Qualifications and Operational Procedures for Pupil Transportation Vehicles (Effective Date 09/26/2012; Implementation Date 11/26/2012) (pdf file)

  • Rule 92 Regulations Governing the Minimum Equipment Standards and Safety Inspection Criteria for Pupil Transportation Vehicles (Effective Date 07/07/2015) (pdf file)

Pupil Transportation Guide (revised 08/07/2017) (pdf file)

The Nebraska Pupil Transportation Guide provides an additional resource for drivers, transportation directors, and school administrators.  Information in the Guide includes:

  • Qualifications and licensing of drivers
  • DMV Rules of the Road related to pupil transportation
  • Inspection process
  • Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Strategies for safe driving and emergency situations
  • Basic first aid
  • Section 10A of the Commercial Driver’s Manual
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 08/09/2017

Inspection Process

Pupil Transportation

Inspection Process for Pupil Transportation Vehicles

Throughout each school year, all pupil transportation vehicles must be inspected through two processes:

1) Daily Vehicle Inspection

2) Mechanic’s Vehicle Inspection

Daily Vehicle Inspection

The driver is required to conduct a daily inspection before starting the daily route at a minimum.  The driver completes a daily vehicle inspection checklist and a weekly report of this information is submitted to the school’s transportation manager.  A copy of the completed daily inspection checklists must be kept on file at the school.

80-Day Mechanic’s Vehicle Inspection

All pupil transportation vehicles must be inspected by a school-appointed mechanic before school opens in the fall AND every 80 days thereafter while school is in session.

The school-appointed mechanic completes a Mechanic’s Vehicle Inspection Report after the inspection of each pupil transportation vehicle and submits to the school  If the school contracts for pupil transportation, copies of this form must be kept on file at the school AND with the independent contractor.

Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 04/21/2014

Frequently Asked Questions

Pupil Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document. For comments regarding this document contact nde.guidance@nebraska.gov

1. Can schools use vans to transport students?

Yes, but the capacity of the van cannot exceed ten passengers, not including the driver.  The total number a van can carry is eleven – ten passengers plus the driver.

Modifying the seating of a used 12 passenger van to decrease the capacity to ten passengers plus the driver is acceptable.  However, if you are ordering a new 12-passenger van, seating must be configured to seat a total of ten including the driver (in compliance with Federal Regulations) and be sure the vehicle has been certified as a “multi-passenger vehicle.”

When considering the purchase of a new van to be used as a pupil transportation vehicle, schools must be certain the chassis is not the same size as a 15-passenger vehicle.  Some manufacturers are selling new vans as 10 or 11 passengers but are actually built on a 15-passenger chassis.  Those vehicles cannot be used to transport students.

Small vehicles such as cars, Chevy Suburbans or Dodge Caravans will continue to be acceptable to transport school students.

2. Is there a maximum time limit a student can ride a school bus?

There are no statutes or rules that address a maximum time limit that a student can ride a school bus.  However, schools may have local policies that address this issue.  Many schools try to limit ride time but this all depends on the geographical size of the school district.

3. What does the “four-mile” rule mean for pupil transportation?

State Statute 79-611 requires public schools to provide transportation or pay reimbursement to parents in lieu of transportation for students who live four miles or more from school.  Actual reimbursement starts from mile three. 

4.  Can non-public students ride a public school bus?

State Statute 79-601 states a school board of any public school district that provides transportation for children attending that public school shall also provide transportation without cost for children residing in the district that attend non-profit, non-public schools lying within that same district.  Transportation provided for the non-profit, non-public school only extends from some point on the regular public school route nearest or most easily accessible to their home to and from a point on the public school route.

5. What is the reimbursement rate to parents for the transportation of their children?

The reimbursement rate is based on the federal mileage rate and is normally adjusted each January   Click here to see the current rate.  There are two rates listed – regular resident and option enrollment.

Here are the steps to calculate the daily pupil transportation reimbursement rate: 

  1. Determine one-way distance from school
  2. Subtract three miles
  3. Multiply by current rate 

6. Can schools use buses to transport adults to a community activity?

Nebraska State Statute 13-1208 addresses the use of school buses other than transporting students for school purposes.

 
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 08/09/2017

Driver Training

Pupil Transportation

Driver Training

Level I Instructional Training

  • Drivers of pupil transportation vehicles must receive Level I instructional training in the operation of vehicles that transport school children.
  • A “refresher” Level II course must be taken every five years after the Level I course.

Courses for Level I and Level II instructional training are offered throughout the year at various sites in Nebraska. The Nebraska Safety Center in Kearney coordinates these courses. Click here for a schedule of classes.

Level I & II Waiver Process

A “waiver” exam for the Level I & II instructional training course is available. Successful completion of this online exam allows an individual to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a School Bus Operator’s Permit in case the individual has not had enough time to complete the Level I & II course. The waivers are good for 60 calendars days during which time the driver must take the Level I or II course.

For more information, contact the Nebraska Safety Center

  • (308) 865-8270 -or- (800) 854-7867 ext. 4
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 05/22/2014

Requirements to Drive a Pupil Transportation Vehicle

Pupil Transportation

Requirements to Drive a Pupil Transportation Vehicle

Federal and State Requirement Matrices:

A school bus permit is required for the driver of all vehicles that transport one or more school children for routes.

 

To become a pupil transportation vehicle driver, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a valid CDL or Class O (whichever is appropriate for the class of bus permit)
  • Complete Level I or Level II instructional training or proof of waiver for the Level I or II Instruction Course.
  • Have a current DOT physical (dated within the last 90 days)

A school bus permit is not required when operating a small vehicle (i.e. car, van) used for activity purposes. 

Contact the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles for more information to obtain a Nebraska School Bus Permit or a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Click here for more information about driver training.

Types of Permits Required
for Nebraska Pupil Transportation Vehicles

Permit
Type of Vehicle
Passenger Capacity
Type of Activity
A
Small Vehicle
Up to 10 passengers
B
School Bus
Up to 14 passengers
C
School Bus
Up to 14 passengers
Activity travel only
D
School Bus
15 or more passengers
E
School Bus
15 or more passengers
Activity travel only

Program Contacts

  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 06/29/2017

Child Passenger Safety

Pupil Transportation

Child Passenger Safety Law

All children up to age 6 riding in any motor vehicle must ride correctly secured in an appropriate child restraint system that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 213).  This means that the child restraint systems must be appropriate for the child’s size, age and weight.

What’s the effect of this law on pupil transportation vehicles?

Pupil transportation vehicle fitted with seat belts must also be equipped with the appropriate child restraint systems when transporting children up to age six.  School buses (except Type A buses) are not required to be equipped with seat belts.  However, if a bus is fitted with seat belts, appropriate child restraint systems must be provided for children up to age six.

Resource for Choosing & Using Child Safety Restraint Systems

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web site to get detailed information about transporting children in buses.  For additional information on child restraint systems and which would work best in school vans or school buses, contact the following retailers of child restraint systems:

Seating in Small Vehicles
There is no Nebraska statute stating a minimum age for children sitting in the front seat of a vehicle, but best practice recommendations are to not seat children under age 13 in the front seat. However, if the situation occurs that a child younger than 13 needs to ride in the front seat, please follow these steps:

  • Seat the tallest/biggest child in the front seat.
  • Make sure the seat belt fits properly – lap belt low on lap, not on stomach; shoulder belt is centered on shoulder.
  • Slide the seat as far back as possible.

Keep in mind that in the event of an air bag discharge, the most intense contact would be with head and face of a shorter person. 

For more details, contact:

  • Jason Kerkman, Nebraska SAFE KIDS Coordinator
    • Nebraska Health and Human Services System
    • jason.kerkman@nebraska.gov
    • (402) 471-8749
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 10/08/2015

Certified MedicalExaminer Requirement / Obstructed Sleep Apnea Studies

Pupil Transportation

“Certified Medical Examiner” Requirement / Obstructed Sleep Apnea Studies

Pupil Transportation Annual Physical Requirement:

  • On May 21, 2014, a new federal regulation becomes effective which will impact annual physicals for pupil transportation vehicle drivers.
  • This new requirement states that physical exams for drivers holding a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) must be performed by a health professional that is a “Certified Medical Examiner “ and who is also listed on the FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) National Registry.   (The health professional has to complete a specialized training to become a “Certified Medical Examiner.”)
  • Since this is a new regulation, there may be a lack of “Certified Medical Examiners” available in certain areas of the state.   It may be wise for drivers to schedule their physicals prior to the start date of this regulation – May 21.
  • For more information:  https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam
  • Download flyers for more information:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Studies

  • There has been a lot of concern about sleep studies being required for CDL drivers for various reasons – weight, neck size, etc.  According to Diane Podany, State Program Manager of FMSCA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), this requirement was retracted.  However, Diane said FMCSA is aware that some physicians have continued to include it as part of the CDL physicals they conduct even though it is not a requirement of the process.
  • For more information:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/notices/2012-10176
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 04/21/2014

Additional enrollment(s) during the 2017/18 school year (subsequent to the initial filing).

Exempt (Home) School Program

Additional Enrollment(s) During the 2017/18 School Year

We have discontinued accepting exemption election add-on filings for the 2016/17 school year.

Information for the 2017/18 school year will be posted on this page in the near future.

 

 

Program Contacts
  • Beth Bolte: (402) 471-2795 or beth.bolte@nebraska.gov
  • Micki Iverson: (402) 471-1894 or micki.iverson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 05/08/2017

Reporting changes subsequent to the initial filing.

Exempt (Home) School Program

Reporting Changes Subsequent to the Initial Filing

It is the responsibility of the Parent Representative to promptly report changes that occur subsequent to the initial filing:

Additional enrollment(s) during the school year: 

Submit a Form A from each parent or legal guardian and the documentation specified in Section 004 of Rule 13 prior to the student’s enrollment (Rule 13, Section 003.02B). (See additional enrollment information.)

Discontinuation of enrollment during the school year:

Notify NDE in writing by mail or by Email to beth.bolte@nebraska.gov (Rule 13, Section 003.02C). Include in the notice the student’s enrollment status (i.e. student is attending a Nebraska approved or accredited school, family has moved out of state, etc.). See also Rule 13, Section 010.

Change of parent representative during the school year: 

The parents or legal guardians shall designate a new parent representative who shall promptly submit a new Form B (Rule 13, Section 003.02D).

Address change(s) during the school year:

Notify NDE in writing by mail or by Email to beth.bolte@nebraska.gov (Rule 13, Section 003.02E). Include in the notice the new resident school district (if it changes) so that the Department can notify your new resident school district of your exempt status (Rule 13, Section 005). Also include your new county of residence (if it changes).

Change in program of instruction or curriculum:

Notify NDE in writing by mail or by Email to beth.bolte@nebraska.gov.

Change of instructional monitor:

For new monitors added, provide the name, age and highest grade completed for each designated monitor (Item 3 of the Information Summary) and submit by mail or by Email to beth.bolte@nebraska.gov. If any monitors leave during the school year, notify NDE in writing by mail or be Email to beth.bolte@nebraska.gov.

Program Contacts
  • Beth Bolte: (402) 471-2795 or beth.bolte@nebraska.gov
  • Micki Iverson: (402) 471-1894 or micki.iverson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 05/08/2017

Reminders & Information

School District Budgeting

Reminders & Information

DUE DATES FOR FILING THE BUDGET AND LC-2
The due date for filing the School District Budget Form, LC-2 and Special Grant Fund List is September 20. The documents must be filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts, the County Clerk, and the Nebraska Department of Education. The School District Budget Form and attachments must be filed as a pdf document and uploaded through the LC-2 in the NDE Portal. Mailed and emailed budgets will not be accepted.

Reminder:  Any time the budget is amended, Page 2 of the amended budget, Board Minutes, and affidavit of publication must be filed with all entities mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Amendment documentation must also be uploaded through the LC-2 in the NDE Portal.

For assistance, contact Janice Eret at (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov or Bill Biven at (402) 471-0526 or bill.biven@nebraska.gov.

EARLY PAYMENT OF STATE AID FOR DISTRICTS DEMONSTRATING FINANCIAL HARDSHIP
State Statute allows school districts that receive federal funds in excess of 25% of their general fund budget of disbursements and transfers to apply for early payment of State Aid if the federal funds are not received in a timely manner. The request for early payment may be made at any time and the early payment may be for as much as 50% of the remaining amount of State Aid that the school district is entitled to for the fiscal year.

The early payment of State Aid may be approved by the State Board of Education if the Board finds that a financial hardship exists within the school district. For purposes of the early payment process, financial hardship is defined as a situation in which income to the school district is exceeded by the liabilities of the school district to such a degree that if early payment is not received, the school district will have to discontinue vital services or functions. For assistance, contact Jen Utemark at (402) 471-3323 or jen.utemark@nebraska.gov; or Bryce Wilson at (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov.

EARLY PAYMENT FOR POSTPONED STATE AID
A school district whose State Aid is postponed due to a clerical error in adjusted valuation used in the State Aid calculation may apply to the State Board of Education for a lump-sum payment of the postponed State Aid. The State Board may grant the entire amount applied for or any portion of such amount. For assistance, contact Jen Utemark at (402) 471-3323 or jen.utemark@nebraska.gov; or Bryce Wilson at (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov.

LUMP-SUM PAYMENT FOR A POSITIVE PRIOR YEAR CORRECTION
A school district whose prior year correction is positive may apply to the Department of Education for a lump-sum payment for any amount up to 100% of the positive prior year correction. Information regarding the application process for the lump-sum payment of a positive prior year correction will be e-mailed to applicable school district superintendents in July. If a positive prior year correction is less than $1,000, the Department of Educations will automatically make a lump-sum payment to the district without application.  For assistance, contact Jen Utemark at (402) 471-3323 or jen.utemark@nebraska.gov; or Bryce Wilson at (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov.

Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bill Biven: (402) 471-0526 or bill.biven@nebraska.gov

Updated on 06/09/2017

Go to Top