Did you know that every day, public school buses in Alabama travel the equivalent of three-and-a-half times the length of all public roads in Alabama?
That’s more than 350,000 miles on Alabama’s 102,000 miles of public roads.
It includes 7,600 buses running more than 10,000 routes twice a day transporting nearly 368,000 students to and from Alabama’s public schools.
In the discussion about state education funding, transportation is often brought forward as an example of an essential function that should be fully funded by the state, but that only around 75% of that cost is actually funded by the state.
State funding for transportation is $320 million. Alabama State Department of Education officials claim that number is $70 million less than what would be considered full funding.
So the rest of transportation costs are funded from local tax proceeds. Transportation is certainly not the only function where school districts are filling in gaps in state funding, but it is the one we are taking a look at today.
After you’ve reviewed the facts, head to Mr. Brandon’s School Bus, a blog written by Tom Brandon. Brandon shares delightful stories about what happens in the course of his day as an Alabama school bus driver.
The information in the graphic below reflects the 2014-2015 school year, which the ALSDE uses to allocate FY16 funding for public school transportation.