Any local board of education may, in lieu of the operation by it of public school
buses, enter into a contract with any person, firm or corporation for the transportation
by such person, firm or corporation of pupils enrolled in the public schools of such
local school administrative unit for the same purposes for which such local school
administrative unit is authorized by this Article to operate public school buses. Any vehicle used by such person, firm or corporation for the transportation of such
pupils shall be constructed and equipped as provided in rules and regulations promulgated
by the State Board of Education, and the driver of such vehicle shall possess all
of the qualifications prescribed by rules and regulations promulgated by the State
Board of Education. Where a contract for transportation of pupils is entered into between a local board
of education and any person, firm or corporation which contemplates the use of an
automobile or vehicle other than a bus for the transportation of 16 pupils or less,
the automobile or vehicle shall not be required to be constructed and equipped as
provided for in G.S. 115C-240(c), but shall be constructed and equipped pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated
by the State Board of Education. In the event that any local board of education shall enter into such a contract,
the board may use for such purposes any funds which it might use for the operation
of school buses owned by the board, and the tax-levying authorities of the county
or of the city may provide in the county or city budget such additional funds as may
be necessary to carry out such contracts.
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