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121.54(7)(b)1.1. If transportation is provided to pupils and other persons in connection with any extracurricular activity of a public school under par. (a), the school board may make a charge for such transportation, to be paid by the persons transported, sufficient to reimburse it for the cost of providing the transportation. If transportation is provided to pupils and other persons in connection with any extracurricular activity of a private school under par. (a), the school board shall make a charge for such transportation, to be paid by the private school or the persons transported, sufficient to reimburse it for the cost of providing the transportation.
121.54(7)(b)2. 2. The school board may contract under s. 121.52 (2) (b) for transportation authorized under par. (a) for pupils attending public schools. The school board may authorize a charge for the transportation, to be paid by the persons transported, sufficient to make reimbursement for the cost of providing the transportation.
121.54(8) (8)Payment of transportation costs.
121.54(8)(a)(a) The cost of providing transportation for pupils under subs. (1) to (6) and s. 121.57 shall be paid by the school district in which they reside, and no part of such cost may be charged to the pupils or their parents or guardians.
121.54(8)(b) (b) At the end of the school term, every union high school district shall submit to each of its underlying school districts operating only elementary grades a certified statement of the actual cost for the school year, less the amount to be paid for such pupils for that school year under s. 121.58 (2), of transporting the private school pupils residing in the underlying school district under sub. (2) (b). On or before June 30 in each year each underlying school district shall reimburse the union high school district for the net cost of transporting its resident private school pupils as so reported in the statement.
121.54(9) (9)Transportation in areas of unusual hazards.
121.54(9)(a)(a) In school districts in which unusual hazards exist for pupils in walking to and from the school where they are enrolled, the school board shall develop a plan which shall show by map and explanation the nature of the unusual hazards to pupil travel and propose a plan of transportation if such transportation is necessary, which will provide proper safeguards for the school attendance of such pupils. Copies of the plan shall be filed with the sheriff of the county in which the principal office of the school district is located. The sheriff shall review the plan and may make suggestions for revision deemed appropriate. The sheriff shall investigate the site and plan and make a determination as to whether unusual hazards exist which cannot be corrected by local government and shall report the findings in writing to the state superintendent and the school board concerned. Within 60, but not less than 30, days from the day on which the state superintendent receives the sheriff's report, the state superintendent shall determine whether unusual hazards to pupil travel exist and whether the plan provides proper safeguards for such pupils. If the state superintendent makes findings which support the plan and the determination that unusual hazards exist which seriously jeopardize the safety of the pupils in their travel to and from school, the school board shall put the plan into effect and state aid shall be paid under s. 121.58 (2) (c) for any transportation of pupils under this subsection. Any city, village or town may reimburse, in whole or in part, a school district for costs incurred in providing transportation under this subsection for pupils who reside in the city, village or town.
121.54(9)(am) (am) Any person aggrieved by the failure of a school board to file a plan with the sheriff as provided in par. (a) may notify the school board in writing that an area of unusual hazard exists. The school board shall reply to the aggrieved person in writing within 30 days of receipt of the aggrieved person's notice. The school board shall send a copy of the board's reply to the sheriff of the county in which the principal office of the school district is located and to the state superintendent. Upon receipt of the school board's reply, the aggrieved person may request a hearing before the state superintendent for a determination as to whether an area of unusual hazard exists. If the state superintendent determines that an area of unusual hazard exists, the state superintendent shall direct the school board to proceed as provided in par. (a).
121.54(9)(b) (b) Within 30 days after the sheriff's report is received by the state superintendent, any aggrieved person may request a hearing before the state superintendent on the determination by the sheriff and on the plan. After such hearing, the state superintendent shall proceed as provided in par. (a).
121.54(9)(c) (c) The state superintendent and the department of transportation shall establish a definition of "unusual hazards" and "area of unusual hazards" for the implementation of this subsection. Such definition shall be promulgated, as a rule, by the state superintendent.
121.54 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. PI 7, Wis. adm. code.
121.54(10) (10)Attendance in nonresident school district. Subject to s. 118.51 (14) (a) 2., a school board may elect to provide transportation, including transportation to and from summer classes, for nonresident pupils who are attending public school in the school district under s. 118.51 or 121.84 (4), or its resident pupils who are attending public school in another school district under s. 118.51 or 121.84 (4), or both, except that a school board may not provide transportation under this subsection for a nonresident pupil to or from a location within the boundaries of the school district in which the pupil resides unless the school board of that school district approves.
121.54 Annotation Sections 121.51 (4) [now 121.51 (1)] and 121.54 (2) (b) 1., as enacted in 1969, are constitutional. Vanko v. Kahl, 52 Wis. 2d 206, 188 N.W.2d 460 (1971).
121.54 Annotation Exceptions to the mandatory provision of transportation should be narrowly construed. The exception for children who "reside in cities" should be confined to its common and approved usage. Morrissette v. DeZonia, 63 Wis. 2d 429, 217 N.W.2d 377 (1974).
121.54 Annotation Although a private school was only 127 feet beyond the 5-mile limit of sub. (2) (b) 1., statutory construction was not available to extend the limit. Young v. Mukwonago Board of Education, 74 Wis. 2d 144, 246 N.W.2d 230 (1976).
121.54 Annotation A public school board's refusal to transport parochial pupils during a public school vacation violated sub. (2) (b) 1. Hahner v. Wisconsin Rapids Board of Education, 89 Wis. 2d 180, 278 N.W.2d 474 (Ct. App. 1979).
121.54 Annotation Common carrier passenger service need not be available to all city pupils for school board to possess the option under sub. (1). The "reasonable uniformity" requirement was directed at the distance that pupils are transported, not at the means of transportation that is chosen. St. John Vianney School v. Janesville Board of Education, 114 Wis. 2d 140, 336 N.W.2d 387 (Ct. App. 1983).
121.54 Annotation Students within a private school's attendance area under s. 121.51 (1) were entitled to transportation under sub. (2) (b) 1. although the campus they attended was not within the public school's 5-mile transportation radius, but another campus to which they could be transported was. Providence Catholic School v. Bristol School District No. 1, 231 Wis. 2d 159, 605 N.W.2d 238 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-3390.
121.54 Annotation Reading sub. (2) (b) 2. with s. 121.55, elementary schools are not restricted to providing transportation vehicles owned, operated, or contracted for by the district, but they also have the alternatives available under s. 121.55. Providence Catholic School v. Bristol School District No. 1, 231 Wis. 2d 159, 605 N.W.2d 238 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-3390.
121.54 Annotation Transportation must be on a reasonably uniform basis to all children attending either public or private schools. 61 Atty. Gen. 240.
121.54 Annotation Students may have bus riding privileges suspended without being suspended or expelled from school. However, both public and private school students must be afforded due process under s. 120.13 (1) before such a suspension can take place. 63 Atty. Gen. 526.
121.54 Annotation A public school district did not violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution by refusing to bus the students of charter school created under s. 118.20 (2r) located within its geographical boundaries. Racine Charter One, Inc. v. Racine Unified School District, 424 F.3d 677 (2005).
121.54 Annotation City school busing policies adopted pursuant to subs. (1) and (2) (b) 1. were without rational basis and violated the equal protection rights of city resident private school students who resided more than 2 miles from the school but were denied transportation solely because the school was located 400 feet outside the city and school district boundaries. Deutsch v. Teel, 400 F. Supp. 598 (1975).
121.54 Annotation Sub. (2) (b) 1. does not deny equal protection to students attending parochial school beyond 5-mile limit. O'Connel v. Kniskern, 484 F. Supp. 896 (1980).
121.545 121.545 Additional transportation.
121.545(1) (1) The parent or guardian of a pupil who attends a public or private school and who is not required to be transported under s. 121.54 may contract with the school board of the district for transportation under this subsection. The school board of the district may provide transportation under this subsection to a pupil not required to be transported under s. 121.54, if requested to do so by the parent or guardian of the pupil. The school board may charge a fee for the cost of providing transportation under this subsection and may waive the fee or any portion of the fee for any person who is unable to pay the fee. State aid shall not be provided for transportation under this subsection.
121.545(2) (2) A school board may provide transportation for children residing in the school district whom the school district is not required to transport under s. 121.54 to or from, or both, a before- and after-school child care program under s. 120.125, a prekindergarten class under s. 120.13 (13), a child care program under s. 120.13 (14), or any other child care program, family child care home, child care provider, or prekindergarten class. The school board may charge a fee for the cost of providing such transportation. The school board may waive the fee or any portion of the fee for any person who is unable to pay the fee. State aid shall not be provided for transportation under this subsection.
121.55 121.55 Methods of providing transportation.
121.55(1)(1) School boards may provide transportation by any of the following methods:
121.55(1)(a) (a) By contract with a common carrier, a taxi company or other parties.
121.55(1)(b) (b) By contract with the parent or guardian of the pupil to be transported. If the school board and the parent or guardian cannot agree upon the amount of compensation, the department shall determine the amount of compensation to be designated in the contract.
121.55(1)(c) (c) By contract with another school board, board of control of a cooperative educational service agency or the proper officials of any private school or private school association.
121.55(1)(d) (d) By contract between 2 or more school boards and an individual or a common carrier.
121.55(1)(e) (e) By the purchase and operation of a motor vehicle.
121.55(3) (3)
121.55(3)(a)(a) If the estimated cost of transporting a pupil under s. 121.54 (2) (b) 1. is more than 1.5 times the school district's average cost per pupil for bus transportation in the previous year, exclusive of transportation for kindergarten pupils during the noon hour and for pupils with disabilities, the school board may fulfill its obligation to transport a pupil under s. 121.54 (2) (b) 1. by offering to contract with the parent or guardian of the pupil. Except as provided in pars. (b) and (c), the contract shall provide for an annual payment for each pupil of not less than $5 times the distance in miles between the pupil's residence and the private school he or she attends, or the school district's average cost per pupil for bus transportation in the previous year exclusive of transportation for kindergarten pupils during the noon hour and for pupils with disabilities, whichever is greater.
121.55(3)(b) (b) Except as provided in par. (c), if 2 or more pupils reside in the same household and attend the same private school, the contract under par. (a) may, at the discretion of the school board of the school district operating under ch. 119, provide for a total annual payment for all such pupils of not less than $5 times the distance in miles between the pupils' residence and the private school they attend, or the school district's average cost per pupil for bus transportation in the previous year exclusive of transportation for kindergarten pupils during the noon hour and for pupils with disabilities, whichever is greater.
121.55(3)(c) (c) The payment under this subsection shall not exceed the actual cost nor may the aids paid under s. 121.58 (2) (a) for the pupil exceed the cost thereof. A school board which intends to offer a contract under par. (a) shall notify the parent or guardian of the private school pupil of its intention at least 30 days before the commencement of the school term of the public school district.
121.55 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. PI 7, Wis. adm. code.
121.55 Annotation Notice under sub. (3) only must be given to parents if the school board seeks to use the reduced formula under sub. (3) and not when the standard parental contract method under sub. (1) is pursued. Providence Catholic School v. Bristol School District No. 1, 231 Wis. 2d 159, 605 N.W.2d 238 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-3390.
121.555 121.555 Alternative methods of providing transportation.
121.555(1)(1) A school board or the governing body of a private school may provide pupil transportation services by the following alternative methods:
121.555(1)(a) (a) A motor vehicle transporting 9 or less passengers in addition to the operator.
121.555(1)(b) (b) A motor vehicle transporting 10 or more passengers in addition to the operator and used temporarily to provide transportation for purposes specified under s. 340.01 (56) (a) when the school board or the governing body requests the secretary of transportation to determine that an emergency exists because no regular transportation is available. The secretary of transportation shall approve or deny the request in writing. Any authorization granted under this paragraph shall specify the purpose and need for the emergency transportation service.
121.555(2) (2) The school board or governing body of a private school shall determine that any motor vehicle used under sub. (1) complies with the following conditions:
121.555(2)(a) (a) Insurance. If the vehicle is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor, or is a vehicle authorized under sub. (1) (b), it shall comply with s. 121.53. If the vehicle is transporting 9 or fewer persons in addition to the operator and is not owned or leased by a school or by a school bus contractor, it shall be insured by a policy providing property damage coverage with a limit of not less than $10,000 and bodily injury liability coverage with limits of not less than $25,000 for each person, and, subject to the limit for each person, a total limit of not less than $50,000 for each accident.
121.555(2)(b) (b) Inspection. If the vehicle is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor or is operated by a school district employee, it shall be inspected annually for compliance with the requirements of s. 110.075, ch. 347, and the rules of the department of transportation. The owner or lessee of the vehicle is responsible for the annual inspection.
121.555(2)(c) (c) Operator requirements. The operator:
121.555(2)(c)1. 1. Shall possess a valid Wisconsin operator's license or a valid operator's license issued by another jurisdiction, as defined in s. 340.01 (41m), or a valid commercial driver license issued by Mexico.
121.555(2)(c)2. 2. Shall be at least 18 years of age.
121.555(2)(c)3. 3. Shall have sufficient use of both hands and the foot normally employed to operate the foot brake and foot accelerator. The department of transportation may require substantiation of such use by a driving examination conducted by the department or by a medical opinion.
121.555(2)(c)4. 4. Shall submit at least once every 3 years to the school a medical opinion in such form as the school may prescribe that the operator is not afflicted with or suffering from any mental or physical disability or disease such as to prevent the operator from exercising reasonable control over a motor vehicle. The examination report prescribed in s. 118.25 (2) and (4) may be used to satisfy this requirement. This subdivision applies only if the vehicle used under sub. (1) is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor or is operated by a school district employee.
121.555(2)(cm) (cm) Waiver of operator requirement. Notwithstanding par. (c) 3., with respect to the operator of a vehicle under sub. (1) (a), a school board or the governing body of a private school may waive the requirement that an operator have sufficient use of both hands if the operator has sufficient use of one hand to safely operate the vehicle which the school board or governing body of the private school proposes the operator use, as substantiated by a special driving examination conducted by the department of transportation. The department of transportation shall conduct the special examination under this paragraph upon the request of a school board, the governing body of a private school or the operator.
121.555(2)(d) (d) Seating requirements. The vehicle may not be used to transport more persons than can be seated on the permanently mounted seats facing forward without interfering with the operator.
121.555(3) (3)
121.555(3)(a)(a) Subject to par. (c), any person that employs or contracts with an individual, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall do all of the following before the individual is initially permitted to operate the vehicle and every 4 years thereafter:
121.555(3)(a)1. 1. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, request from the records maintained by the department of justice a criminal history search of the individual. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, if the individual who is the subject of the criminal history search has not resided in this state at anytime within the 2 years preceding the date of the search, the person shall make a good faith effort to obtain additional criminal history information from any state in which the individual has resided during this time period or from any other applicable federal or state agency.
121.555(3)(a)2. 2. Request the individual's operating record from the department of transportation under s. 343.24 or, if the operating record has already been obtained by another entity, from that entity if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the operating record obtained from that entity is accurate and was furnished by the department of transportation to that entity not more than 2 months previously.
121.555(3)(a)3. 3. Obtain a background information form, prescribed by the department under sub. (6) (b), completed by the individual.
121.555(3)(b) (b) Any person that employs or contracts with an individual to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, may require the individual to be fingerprinted on 2 fingerprint cards, each bearing a complete set of the individual's fingerprints, or by other technologies approved by law enforcement agencies. The department of justice may provide for the submission of the fingerprint cards or fingerprints by other technologies to the federal bureau of investigation for the purposes of verifying the identity of the individual fingerprinted and obtaining records of his or her criminal arrests and convictions. Except as provided in this paragraph, fingerprints obtained under this paragraph shall be kept confidential.
121.555(3)(c) (c) Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, no person that employs or contracts with an individual, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils may permit the individual to operate such a vehicle if any of the following applies:
121.555(3)(c)1. 1. The person knows or should know that the individual has a record of conviction or operating privilege revocation or adjudicated delinquency that would disqualify the person from issuance or renewal of a school bus endorsement under s. 343.12 (7) and rules promulgated by the department of transportation under s. 343.12 (7) and (8).
121.555(3)(c)2. 2. The person knows or should know that the individual has been convicted of a violation of sub. (4) (b).
121.555(3)(c)3. 3. The person knows or should know that the individual is listed in the registry under s. 146.40 (4g) (a) 2.
121.555(4) (4)
121.555(4)(a)(a) An individual who is employed by or under contract with a person to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall report to the person in writing within 10 days of the occurrence of any of the following:
121.555(4)(a)1. 1. Any accident in which the individual was involved as the operator of a motor vehicle, regardless of whether the individual was issued a uniform traffic citation or charged with any offense or whether the individual was operating a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils.
121.555(4)(a)2. 2. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, any conviction or operating privilege revocation that, under sub. (3) (c), makes the individual ineligible to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils or, if the individual holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, that disqualifies the individual from issuance or renewal of a school bus endorsement under s. 343.12 (7) and rules promulgated by the department of transportation under s. 343.12 (7) and (8).
121.555(4)(a)3. 3. Any suspension or revocation of the individual's operating privilege, or cancellation of a school bus endorsement, by this state or another jurisdiction.
121.555(4)(b) (b) No individual may provide false or incomplete information with respect to any material fact on a background information form specified in sub. (3) (a) 3.
121.555(5) (5) No individual may operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils if the individual is ineligible to do so under sub. (2) (c) and (cm) or under sub. (3) (c).
121.555(6) (6)
121.555(6)(a)(a) The department shall prepare and make available to school districts, private schools, and contractors providing pupil transportation services informational materials, in printed or electronic form, relating to compliance with this section.
121.555(6)(b) (b) In consultation with persons that employ or contract with individuals to operate motor vehicles under sub. (1), the department shall prescribe a background information form for purposes of sub. (3). The form shall require an individual under sub. (3) (a) to specify whether the individual is listed in the registry under s. 146.40 (4g) (a) 2.
121.555(7) (7) Any person that employs or contracts with an individual to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall maintain all records and furnish all information determined necessary to determine compliance with this section.
121.555(8) (8)
121.555(8)(a)(a) Any individual who violates sub. (4) (a) or (5) may be required to forfeit not more than $100 for the first offense and not more than $200 for each subsequent offense.
121.555(8)(b) (b) Any individual who violates sub. (4) (b) may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000.
121.555 AnnotationApplication of this section to various methods of transportation is discussed. 75 Atty. Gen. 146 (1986).
121.56 121.56 School bus routes. The school board of each district shall make and be responsible for all necessary provisions for the transportation of pupils, including establishment, administration and scheduling of school bus routes. Upon the request of any school board, the state superintendent shall provide advice and counsel on problems of school transportation. Any private school shall, upon the request of the public school officials, supply all necessary information and reports. The transportation of public and private school pupils shall be effectively coordinated to insure the safety and welfare of the pupils. Upon receipt of a signed order from the state superintendent, the school board shall discontinue any route specified by the state superintendent.
121.56 History History: 1993 a. 492; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 27.
121.56 Annotation The refusal by a public school board to transport parochial pupils during a public school vacation violated s. 121.54 (2) (b) 1. Hahner v. Wisconsin Rapids Board of Education, 89 Wis. 2d 180, 278 N.W.2d 474 (Ct. App. 1979).
121.57 121.57 Board and lodging or house rental in lieu of transportation.
121.57(1)(1)
121.57(1)(a)(a) If a school board determines it is to the advantage of the school district and if the parent or guardian determines it is to the advantage of the pupil that board and lodging in lieu of transportation be provided for all or part of the time for a pupil of the school district required to be transported or for whom it has been authorized under s. 121.54 (2), the school board shall enter into a written contract under which the pupil shall be properly boarded and lodged and the school board shall pay for such board and lodging. The pupil's parent or guardian may select the home in which the pupil is boarded and lodged. If a school board determines it is in the interest of the school district, it may pay the tuition of a pupil in a school in another school district in lieu of providing transportation to a school in the school district of residence or board and lodging. If the distance from the pupil's home to the school in another school district is 2 miles or more, the school board of the district of residence shall provide transportation.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)