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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate passes Sturgeon bill to expand student transportation

June 19, 2019

Delaware State Senate Majority Caucus
Contact: Scott Goss (302) 744-4180, or
Dylan McDowell (302) 744-4282

DOVER – The Delaware Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill designed to help improve transportation options for students who attend district and charter schools.

Sponsored by Senate Education Chair Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Brandywine, Senate Bill 166 encourages local education agencies to cooperate in a number of ways to ensure district, charter and choice students can get to and from school in a way that makes the most sense for their families.

That includes allowing both district and charter schools to purchase annual bus passes from the Delaware Transit Corporation, better known as DART, for use by students in grades 6 through 12.

Schools already use DART passes for some students, including those who experience homelessness. Senate Bill 166 would expand that to all students and allow districts to allocate a portion of their annual transportation funding for that purpose.

The bill also would codify existing practice that allows charter schools to join with each other or public school districts when it comes to bidding out bus routes to local contractors, as well as permit charter schools to enter into multi-year contracts with those private bus companies.

“Every family has to make a choice about the transportation option that works best for them, whether that’s the yellow school bus, walking to school or carpooling,” Sturgeon said. “This law will simply add another option for parents who see value in public transportation. My hope is that option will make life easier for working families and possibly open opportunities for more children to participate in sports and after-school activities.”

Senate Bill 166 now heads to the House for final consideration.