Arkansas Senator Missy Irvin has filed legislation to set funding levels that school districts need for Transportation

Senator Missy Irvin of Mountain View, the chair of the Senate Education Committee, has filed legislation to set funding levels that school districts need for transportation.

Senate Bill 207 by Irvin provides enhanced funding for isolated, rural districts in which the cost of running school buses is inordinately high compared to urban districts and districts that are geographically compact.

“The funding amounts were generated using the same complex formula used in previous legislative sessions, with a few modifications,” Irvin said.

“For one thing, the formula uses average distances traveled by average numbers of students, going back to 2017, and those numbers were out of sync in 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic. We used 2019 numbers instead, to be more accurate.”

Another “tweak” in the formula was to include Pulaski County school districts, because they no longer received desegregation funding that offset their transportation costs.

“Charter systems that provide transportation and that report actual route miles are included this year,” Irvin said. “That means that two charter systems qualified for funding.”

Also included this year, after consultation with legal staff, are districts where per student URT (uniform rate of tax) rates meet or exceed the per student foundation funding rate. In past years those schools previously were unable to receive Enhanced Transportation funds, even if they qualified.