FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - The school district is hoping some additional dollars will get the needed bids to transport private school students this year, otherwise parents will have to make their own arrangements.
According to officials, the district did not get any qualified bids to bus private school students to their respective schools so far for this year.
State law requires districts to transport non-public students meeting certain criteria to the schools they attend, or make a stipend available to parents to help cover the costs.
Mary Clark, the district’s coordinator of policies, regulations and communications, said in an email that the district requested bids for the routes last month, but no acceptable bids were received by the district.
The district then notified the schools and parents of the situation on Aug. 1 in order to allow parents to make alternative transportation arrangements for the new school year beginning on Sept. 1, Clark said.
The initial request for bids had a maximum student allowance of $884 each per year as Aide in Lieu of Transportation, she said.
The state recently raised the maximum amount to $1,000 each per student, and a new request for bids was put out by Educational Services of New Jersey, she said.
New bids, if any, are scheduled to be opened on Aug. 23, and if awarded, would still be able to start transporting students by Sept. 1, she said.
If no bids come in, then parents will receive the stipend and have to rely on their own travel arrangements when the new school year starts, she said.
“We hope to be able to supply transportation for those non-public students and should know at that time (Aug. 23),” Clark said in the email. “If we cannot provide transportation, qualified students will be allowed to receive the Aide in Lieu of Transportation directly.”
As of noon on Tuesday, the district could not provide the number of students impacted, or say if the routes this year varied significantly from last year’s contract.
We will update this story if more information becomes available.
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