Our Public Policy Agenda
School bus transportation is a critical component in every successful educational enterprise. It is the direct link between a neighborhood and the classroom. NAPT's Public Policy Agenda serves as a resource for all of our members so that you can positively influence dialogue surrounding pupil transportation; confidently respond to the questions from administrators, parents, students, and the public; and ultimately increase awareness of the good news about school transportation.
- The yellow school bus is the safest, most economical, most energy-responsive and most environmentally-friendly way to transport our children to and from school each day.
- There is an important link between the yellow school bus and the performance of our children in the classroom; ensuring access to the school bus helps to ensure access to educational services and ultimately educational attainment.
- The color of a school bus is an integral attribute of its unique design and the industry must ensure that the color of a school bus continues to meet its role and objective as a safety factor.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that its best advice on the matter of seat belts in large school buses — superseding all other guidance — is contained in a single document: the Aug. 25, 2011, denial of a petition from the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) and others requesting that NHTSA mandate seat belts in large school buses. We encourage everyone to read the entire petition denial notice carefully. (Click here to view the evolution of NAPT's perspective on passenger crash protection in a school bus.)
- School transportation administrators should engage in continuous professional education and should be certified in industry practices and knowledge.
- Illegal passing of stopped school buses unnecessarily exposes our children to the risk of injury and death and that it must be eliminated through standardized penalties, simpler enforcement and penalties, and greater public education efforts.
- Bullying has no place on the school bus and school districts should have clear and well-considered policies for handling such events and behaviors not only in the classroom but also on the school bus and at school bus stops.
- All school bus drivers and attendants should receive relevant and appropriate training in transporting all students, but particularly in the transportation of students with disabilities and special needs.
- It is preferable that all children ride on yellow school buses but in those areas where this is not possible, children should be provided with the safest possible transit systems and equipment or safely-constructed and well-equipped infrastructure to get them to school.
- Leaving children unattended on school buses must not be condoned in any way because it exposes our children to risk, is a frightening experience for the children and erodes public confidence in the safety and security of the yellow school bus.
- School transportation operators should utilize computer-based routing and scheduling systems to attain maximum efficiency in their operations and safety for all the children.
- Taxpayers are entitled to know that school transportation operations are conducted according to benchmarked standards and quality measures.
- School bus drivers should not engage in text messaging or similar activities while operating a school bus.
- School bus drivers should always utilize their lap-shoulder seat restraints on the school bus.
- The federal government should appropriate full funding of IDEA and special education services, including costs related to transportation.
- The federal and state governments should invest appropriately in improving our highways and bridges to help ensure safer passage of the nation's 600,000 school buses and the 25 million children we carry on our school buses.
Feel free to contact Peter Mannella, Chair of the NAPT Public Policy Committee, for additional information about our Public Policy Agenda.