Colorado Revised Statutes Title 22. Education § 22-1-122. Transportation token program--legislative declaration--eligibility--fund

(1)(a) It is the intent of the general assembly in enacting this section to improve opportunities for students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful experience in postsecondary education or as members of the work force.  The general assembly finds that a student should not be compelled by the lack of transportation to remain in a school that is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 .  It is therefore in the best interests of the citizens of the state to make transportation tokens available to eligible students to enable them to attend a public school that is not required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, and that the school district has identified as an available choice.

(b) It is further the intent of the general assembly that the department of education pursue all other sources of moneys for the transportation token program created in this section, including but not limited to federal grants.

(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Department” means the department of education created and existing pursuant to section 24-1-115, C.R.S .

(b) “Eligible student” means a student:

(I) Who is enrolled in a public school in any of the first through eighth grades;

(II) Who is eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch pursuant to the “Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act”, 42 U.S.C. sec. 1751 et seq. ;

(III)(A) Who is enrolled in a neighborhood school that is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 ;  or

(B) Who has been in attendance elsewhere in the public school system or who is entering first grade and whose parent or legal guardian has been notified that the student has been assigned to a school that is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 ;  and

(IV) Who, while enrolled in the neighborhood school that is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 , met the attendance policies of the school district of the neighborhood school, adopted pursuant to section 22-33-104(4) .

(c) “Neighborhood school” means a public school to which the school district provides transportation for the student or which is located so close to the residence of the student that the school district does not provide transportation for the student.

(c.5) “Pupil enrollment count day” has the same meaning as set forth in section 22-54-103(10.5) .

(d) “State board” means the state board of education created and existing pursuant to section 1 of article IX of the state constitution .

(3)(a) There is hereby created in the department the transportation token program, referred to in this section as the “program”, to assist a parent or legal guardian of an eligible student in transporting the student to a public school, other than a neighborhood public school, which other school is not required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, and which other school has been identified by the school district as an available choice.  Pursuant to rules adopted by the state board, the parent or legal guardian of an eligible student may apply to the program to receive a transportation token for use in transporting the student to the nearest of said public schools that is not a neighborhood school.

(b) An eligible student shall continue receiving transportation tokens pursuant to this section so long as he or she continues to meet the requirements specified for an eligible student in paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section;  except that, after the first year in which an eligible student receives transportation tokens, the requirement specified in subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section shall no longer apply.  An eligible student shall no longer receive transportation tokens pursuant to this section if he or she moves to another residence, the neighborhood school for which was required to implement a performance or improvement plan pursuant to section 22-11-403 or 22-11-404 , respectively, during the school year preceding the year in which the student initially enrolls;  except that the eligible student may receive transportation tokens in school years following initial enrollment in the new neighborhood school if he or she again meets the requirements specified for an eligible student in paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of this section.

(4) The state board shall determine a monetary value for the transportation token issued at each public school that is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 .  The monetary value may cover a portion of the transportation costs.  The transportation token may take the form of, but is not limited to, subsidized tokens, passes, or fares for buses, taxis, or other forms of transportation approved by the state board.  In determining the value of a transportation token, the state board shall take into account the various transportation options available to the eligible student and the distance to be traveled by the eligible student to attend a public school outside of the student's neighborhood.  The transportation token used by an eligible student shall be redeemable by a transportation provider through the department.

(5) The state board shall adopt rules governing the program, including but not limited to:

(a) A procedure for parents and legal guardians of eligible students to apply to the department for transportation tokens;

(b) A procedure to establish the value of the transportation tokens issued at each public school;  and

(c) A procedure for transportation providers to receive reimbursement for transportation tokens received in providing transportation to eligible students.

(6)(a) The department shall ensure that for each eligible student the school district of the neighborhood school shall:

(I) Timely notify the eligible student's parent or legal guardian of all options available pursuant to this section as soon as the neighborhood school is required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, or is subject to restructuring pursuant to section 22-11-210 ;  and

(II) Offer each eligible student's parent or legal guardian an opportunity to enroll the student in another public school within the district that is not required to implement a priority improvement or turnaround plan pursuant to section 22-11-405 or 22-11-406 , respectively, and that the school district has identified as an available choice.

(b) So long as an eligible student is enrolled before the pupil enrollment count day, the parent or legal guardian of an eligible student may choose to enroll the eligible student in and transport the eligible student to a public school in another school district that has available space.  Such school district shall enroll the eligible student and include the eligible student in the district's pupil enrollment for purposes of the “Public School Finance Act of 1994”.

(c) The public school in which an eligible student enrolls shall certify to the state board the attendance of the eligible student.

(7) There is hereby created in the state treasury the transportation token fund, referred to in this subsection (7) as the “fund”.  The fund shall consist of all moneys appropriated to the fund by the general assembly and all other gifts, grants, donations, and other moneys obtained by the department to provide transportation assistance to parents and legal guardians of eligible students.  Moneys in the fund shall be annually appropriated by the general assembly to the department to provide transportation assistance to parents and legal guardians of eligible students pursuant to this section.  At the end of any fiscal year, all unexpended and unencumbered moneys in the fund shall remain in the fund and shall not be credited or transferred to the general fund.  However, in accordance with section 24-36-114, C.R.S ., any interest derived from the deposit and investment of moneys in the fund shall be credited to the general fund.


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