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LEA Provided Transportation Reimbursement Guidelines

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Student Transportation (OSSE DOT) provides transportation services to and from school and related educational programs during the school year and the extended school year (ESY) to eligible students with disabilities who are enrolled in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) or DC public charter schools. OSSE DOT seeks to support local education agencies (LEAs) in ensuring a smooth start of school year by having transportation for eligible students with disabilities routed and ready by the first day of school.

OSSE DOT understands that in limited circumstances students may enroll in an LEA later than expected, which could prevent an LEA from submitting the required transportation request forms to OSSE DOT in time for transportation to begin on the first day of school. Therefore, OSSE DOT is adopting a new policy for the 2017-18 school year to permit LEAs that provide their own transportation to eligible students under these circumstances to receive reimbursement for up to the first 20 school days of the school calendar year. It is OSSE DOT’s expectation that LEAs will have all transportation request forms completed and submitted as soon as possible and no later than the first month of school, and so reimbursement should not be needed beyond the 20 school day timeframe.

What does the LEA Transportation Reimbursement Cover?

If a LEA, at no fault of its own, is unable to arrange transportation through OSSE DOT for the start of the school year for an eligible student, the LEA may provide such transportation directly, or through its agent or contractor, and submit a request to OSSE DOT for reimbursement for the transportation for up to the first 20 school days. LEA provided transportation shall cover the mileage to and from the student’s home and school, and shall be based on the federal general services administration (GSA) mileage rates (https://www.irs.gov/uac/2017-standard-mileage-rates-for-business-and-medical-and-moving-announced) approved by OSSE DOT. Mileage should be calculated based on the closest or shortest available route between home and school. OSSE DOT has broad discretion in selecting measurement points on transportation routes for purposes of determining reimbursement and, when doing so, will exercise such discretion reasonably and fairly. Service provided through a contractor should be within reason and be supported with a breakdown of the costs. LEAs will have to provide an invoice (if available) and proof of payment in order to be reimbursed.

Where an LEA transports multiple students on the same route and vehicle, the LEA shall receive reimbursement that covers the full length of the route but shall not receive multiple/overlapping reimbursements for every student on the route. Accordingly, when submitting documentation for reimbursement purposes, an LEA should submit one set of documentation per route and make note of stops on the route to pick up additional students.

Conditions for Transportation Reimbursement:

The following conditions must be met in order to support reimbursement for LEA transportation provided to eligible students with disabilities for travel to and from school:

OSSE will only verify items requested in the section below.

  • The LEA must submit a transportation request form (TRF) to OSSE DOT. This form must be verified by OSSE.

  • The reimbursement can only be submitted for students who are new to the LEA (new students are defined as students who were not enrolled in the LEA the previous school term). OSSE will verify that students are new to the LEA.

  • As a result of the student’s transfer to the new LEA, the LEA will not have access to the student’s records in OSSE data systems in time to allow the LEA to submit a transportation request form 10 or more business days prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year. Only after OSSE has verified that students are new to the LEA, can access be granted by OSSE to the OSSE data systems.

  • Attendance record from attending school demonstrates that the student was present at school to receive instruction on the days for which reimbursement is requested. It is imperative LEAs submit attendance records for OSSE to verify before reimbursements are approved for payment.

  • Proof of mileage incurred – (e.g., Google Maps, MapQuest, etc.) LEAs must submit records of proof of mileage incurred for OSSE to verify before reimbursements are approved for payment.

Preparing and Submitting a Request for Transportation Reimbursement:

  1. The reimbursement request package shall consist of the following documents:

  • LEA Transportation Certification Form (Attachment 1)

  • Form W-9: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (One-Time Submission per School Year)  (Attachment 2)

  • Attendance Record from the Student’s School

Note: School Attendance Record must be on official school letterhead and signed off by school authorizing official

  • Mileage incurred if the LEA provided the services directly to the student – (e.g., Google Maps, MapQuest, etc.) 

Note:  OSSE DOT authorizes mileage reimbursement based on the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) guidelines.

  • The invoice (if available) and proof of payment if the LEA contracted the transportation service for the student

Upon completion of the package please submit the request via upload to the OSSE Secure Upload Site (https://upload.dc.gov/ossedata/nclb/) Special Education Folder. This folder can be accessed by your LEA’s Special Education Coordinator as listed in the eSchoolPlus system. It is requested that all documents be scanned together into one file and the naming convention be consistent.  Please use the following naming convention: ‘LEA Transportation Reimbursement (Last name, First name) Submission Date (YYYY-MM-DD). Example: LEA Transportation Reimbursement (Doe, John) 2017-08-10. Finally, once you have uploaded the file please notify us via email at [email protected] to confirm the file has been received.

If you experience issues with access to the Secure Upload Site or have a change in whom your Special Education Coordinator is please contact our support team at [email protected].

*Policy updated on Aug. 25 to give LEAs with greater flexibility in providing transportation services.

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