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Ohio Bill Would Penalize School Districts That Fail To Transport Private School Students

A stop sign on a school bus.

Ohio’s public schools are paid by the state to transport students who attend private, charter or community schools. But during the pandemic, some public school districts are not even transporting their own students. 

In that case, do those public schools still have to transport private school students? A new bill in the Ohio legislature would address that issue.

State Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) says public school districts get state money to transport students to private, charter or community schools, so they need to continue to provide the service.

“If they are not transporting kids going to a community school, why should they receive the funding from the state taxpayers to transport kids they are not transporting?" Brenner asks.

Some districts that have gone to remote learning have tried to use public transportation to bus the other students, which Brenner says isn’t safe. He knows the bill won’t pass by the start of the school year, but hopes it can pass by the end of session in December.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.