An analysis of court cases involving school transportation in the K-12 setting

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this research is to provide school transportation supervisors and superintendents a set of guiding principles to refer to when administering and implementing school transportation programs. School transportation supervisors and superintendents need the practical knowledge of the rulings in recent court cases to develop policies and procedures for their school district. A solid base of knowledge in the current legal interpretations of statutes and policies will equip school transportation supervisors with vital knowledge to limit potential liability in the administration of school transportation programs. This dissertation is a qualitative, historical, document-based study of the legal cases related to school transportation from 1988-2011. The cases were briefed and analyzed to determine the issues, outcomes, and trends involving school transportation law. The analysis provided 38 guiding principles for school transportation supervisors and superintendents. The analysis reveals that the major issues of litigation were contracting for school transportation, eligibility for school transportation, district policies and procedures, the Common Carrier Doctrine and duty of care owed to students, and desegregation. From these issues, the analysis concluded the following: (1) courts were reluctant to intervene in local school transportation decisions concerning interpretation of statutes and policies; (2) an increase in the assertion of private and parochial school students to receive public school transportation services; and (3) an increase in court scrutiny over issues where the school district owed a duty of care to the student. School transportation supervisors and superintendents need to be cognizant of these trends to effectively implement school transportation programs.

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Educational leadership, Educational administration