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Will Louisiana Charter Schools Have to Start Providing Transportation?

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Louisiana charter schools might have to start providing the same transportation services to students as traditional district schools do, according to The Advocate, the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge.

Transportation is an obstacle for many families considering or attending a charter school: a recent survey conducted by the Center on Reinventing Public Education in eight high-choice cities found that 26 percent of parents identified transportation as an impediment to school choice. 

The Advocate reports that staff from the state's department of education recommended in a report on charter school transportation issues that future charter schools should be required to bus students who live more than a mile from the school, so long as they reside within the parish where the charter is located.

The report also recommended that existing charter schools receive a three-year grace period before they have to comply with the proposed rule.

Many charter schools, especially in New Orleans, already provide transportation. More from The Advocate:

"Of the state's 134 charter schools, 88.5 percent provide transportation to students, the report says. The state does not require charter schools to provide transportation unless it's a requirement made by the school's authorizer. BESE [Board of Elementary and Secondary Education] only requires the state's 64 Type 5 charters—schools taken over by the Louisiana Department of Education as part of the Recovery School District&mdashto provide free transportation to students."

The Advocate reports the recommendations will go next to the education committees in the Louisiana legislature. 


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