(105 ILCS 5/29-5.2) (from Ch. 122, par. 29-5.2)
Sec. 29-5.2. Reimbursement of transportation.
(a) Reimbursement. A custodian of a qualifying pupil shall be entitled to reimbursement in accordance with procedures established by the State Board of Education for qualified transportation expenses paid by such custodian during the school year.
(b) Definitions. As used in this Section:
(1) "Qualifying pupil" means an individual referred
to in subsection (c), as well as an individual who:
(A) is a resident of the State of Illinois; and
(B) is under the age of 21 at the close of the
school year for which reimbursement is sought; and
(C) during the school year for which
reimbursement is sought was a full-time pupil enrolled in a kindergarten through 12th grade educational program at a school which was a distance of 1 1/2 miles or more from the residence of such pupil; and
(D) did not live within 1 1/2 miles from the
school in which the pupil was enrolled or have access to transportation provided entirely at public expense to and from that school and a point within 1 1/2 miles of the pupil's residence, measured in a manner consistent with Section 29-3.
(2) "Qualified transportation expenses" means costs
reasonably incurred by the custodian to transport, for the purposes of attending regularly scheduled day-time classes, a qualifying pupil between such qualifying pupil's residence and the school at which such qualifying pupil is enrolled, as limited in subsection (e) of this Section, and shall include automobile expenses at the standard mileage rate allowed by the United States Internal Revenue Service as reimbursement for business transportation expense, as well as payments to mass transit carriers, private carriers, and contractual fees for transportation.
(3) "School" means a public or nonpublic elementary
or secondary school in Illinois, attendance at which satisfies the requirements of Section 26-1.
(4) One and one-half miles distance. For the purposes
of this Section, 1 1/2 miles distance shall be measured in a manner consistent with Section 29-3.
(5) Custodian. The term "custodian" shall mean, with
respect to a qualifying pupil, an Illinois resident who is the parent, or parents, or legal guardian of such qualifying pupil.
(c) An individual, resident of the State of Illinois, who is under the age of 21 at the close of the school year for which reimbursement is sought and who, during that school year, was a full time pupil enrolled in a kindergarten through 12th grade educational program at a school which was within 1 1/2 miles of the pupil's residence, measured in a manner consistent with Section 29-3, is a "qualifying pupil" within the meaning of this Section if (i) such pupil attends public school in a school district organized under Article 34 of this Code and must walk or otherwise travel along a safe passage route, as designated by the school board, to reach school or return home or (ii) such pupil did not have access to transportation provided entirely at public expense to and from that school and the pupil's residence and conditions were such that walking would have constituted a serious hazard to the safety of the pupil due to vehicular traffic. The determination of what constitutes a serious safety hazard within the meaning of this subsection shall in each case be made by the Department of Transportation in accordance with guidelines which the Department, in consultation with the State Superintendent of Education, shall promulgate. Each custodian intending to file an application for reimbursement under subsection (d) for expenditures incurred or to be incurred with respect to a pupil asserted to be a qualified pupil as an individual referred to in this subsection shall first file with the appropriate regional superintendent, on forms provided by the State Board of Education, a request for a determination that a serious safety hazard within the meaning of this subsection (c) exists with respect to such pupil. Custodians shall file such forms with the appropriate regional superintendents not later than February 1 of the school year for which reimbursement will be sought for transmittal by the regional superintendents to the Department of Transportation not later than February 15; except that any custodian who previously received a determination that a serious safety hazard exists need not resubmit such a request for 4 years but instead may certify on their application for reimbursement to the State Board of Education referred to in subsection (d), that the conditions found to be hazardous, as previously determined by the Department, remain unchanged. The Department shall make its determination on all requests so transmitted to it within 30 days, and shall thereupon forward notice of each determination which it has made to the appropriate regional superintendent for immediate transmittal to the custodian affected thereby. The determination of the Department relative to what constitutes a serious safety hazard within the meaning of subsection (c) with respect to any pupil shall be deemed an "administrative decision" as defined in Section 3-101 of the Administrative Review Law; and the Administrative Review Law and all amendments and modifications thereof and rules adopted pursuant thereto shall apply to and govern all proceedings instituted for the judicial review of final administrative decisions of the Department of Transportation under this subsection.
(d) Request for reimbursement. A custodian, including a custodian for a pupil asserted to be a qualified pupil as an individual referred to in subsection (c), who applies in accordance with procedures established by the State Board of Education shall be reimbursed in accordance with the dollar limits set out in this Section. Such procedures shall require application no later than June 30 of each year, documentation as to eligibility, and adequate evidence of expenditures; except that for reimbursement sought pursuant to subsection (c) for the 1985-1986 school year, such procedures shall require application within 21 days after the determination of the Department of Transportation with respect to that school year is transmitted by the regional superintendent to the affected custodian. In the absence of contemporaneous records, an affidavit by the custodian may be accepted as evidence of an expenditure. If the amount appropriated for such reimbursement for any year is less than the amount due each custodian, it shall be apportioned on the basis of the requests approved. Regional Superintendents shall be reimbursed for such costs of administering the program, including costs incurred in administering the provisions of subsection (c), as the State Board of Education determines are reasonable and necessary.
(e) Dollar limit on amount of reimbursement. Reimbursement to custodians for transportation expenses incurred during the 1985-1986 school year, payable in fiscal year 1987, shall be equal to the lesser of (1) the actual qualified transportation expenses, or (2) $50 per pupil. Reimbursement to custodians for transportation expenses incurred during the 1986-1987 school year, payable in fiscal year 1988, shall be equal to the lesser of (1) the actual qualified transportation expenses, or (2) $100 per pupil. For reimbursements of qualified transportation expenses incurred in 1987-1988 and thereafter, the amount of reimbursement shall not exceed the prior year's State reimbursement per pupil for transporting pupils as required by Section 29-3 and other provisions of this Article.
(f) Rules and regulations. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this Section.
(g) The provisions of this amendatory Act of 1986 shall apply according to their terms to the entire 1985-1986 school year, including any portion of that school year which elapses prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act, and to each subsequent school year.
(h) The chief administrative officer of each school shall notify custodians of qualifying pupils that reimbursements are available. Notification shall occur by the first Monday in November of the school year for which reimbursement is available.
(Source: P.A. 98-1057, eff. 1-1-15.)
Last modified: February 18, 2015