Answer: Several provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act apply here, including the requirement that students remain in their school of origin if in their best interest (42 USC §11432(g)(3)(A)-(B)), and that schools provide transportation to and from the school of origin (42 USC §11432(g)(1)(J)(iii).  The bottom line of the legal requirements is that the district has to provide transportation to the school of origin. The only legal reason not to provide transportation to the school of origin is if a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to remain at the school of origin.

A discipline issue may rise to the level of changing the best interest determination, but there would be many other factors involved in that determination. In addition, since data show that McKinney-Vento student receive more suspensions and expulsions than their housed peers, we encourage schools to engage in positive discipline practices as an attendance and graduation strategy, as well as to comply with the McKinney-Vento Act’s requirement to remove barriers to enrollment and retention in school.

The district is not necessarily required to continue to transport the student on the school bus. The McKinney-Vento Act does not supersede discipline policies, so a bus suspension can stand.  However, the district may wish to pursue forms of discipline that do not keep the child off the bus. It usually is in both the district’s and the student’s best interest to try to find a way to make the bus transportation work, considering cost and logistics.  If it is a serious safety issue, then the district may have to remove the student from the bus. In that case, the district will need to find another transportation option. If a parent driving is not an option, they may need to look at a taxi or other arrangement.

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