The bill creates the competitive transportation innovation grant program (grant program) in the department of education (department) to address the public school transportation shortage.
The bill allows school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, the state charter school institute, boards of cooperative services, a consortium of school districts, tribal governments, local governments, and community organizations that partner with school districts (eligible applicants) to apply to the grant program. The state board of education (state board) shall select grantees who develop and implement innovative solutions, strategies, and services to address the public school transportation shortage. Eligible applicants shall serve students of color and students from under-resourced communities who are disproportionately impacted by the transportation shortage and struggle to access school districts of their choice and career pathway programs because of their limited access to transportation. The department operates the grant program. The grant program is a one-time grant program, but grantees have 2 years to spend the grant money.
If selected for a grant, a grantee is required to submit a report to the department on or before August 1, 2024, and to submit a second report on or before August 1, 2025. The report must include an explanation of the solutions, strategies, and services developed and implemented with the grant money as described in the grantee's grant application.
On or before August 30, 2024, and again on or before August 30, 2025, the department is required to submit a report summarizing information submitted by the grantee.
The bill requires the general assembly to appropriate money from the revenue loss restoration cash fund to address the public school transportation shortage resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill repeals the grant program, effective July 1, 2026.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)