SECTION 1. The first sentence of section 8A of chapter 74 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “municipality” the following words:-
“which is neither a member of a regional vocational school district nor has its own vocational school”
SECTION 2. Section 8A of said chapter 74, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-
Subject to appropriation, the board of education shall develop and administer a nonresident vocational education transportation reimbursement program for the purpose of providing reimbursement for the transportation of pupils whose town of residence is a member of a regional vocational school district or has its own vocational school. Pupils eligible for said reimbursement must be eligible to receive free or reduced cost lunches under eligibility guidelines promulgated by the federal government under 42 USC section 1758. The board may limit said reimbursement to a yearly amount. The types of transportation to be reimbursed pursuant to said program shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (1) transportation by school buses provided by the sending or receiving district; (2) transportation provided by the parent or guardian of the child; (3) transportation provided by public transportation. All eligible pupils who attend a school district contiguous to the school district of residence of such pupil shall be eligible for said reimbursement. If cost-effective transportation alternatives exist for pupils who attend districts not contiguous to the school districts of residence of such pupil, the board may provide a transportation reimbursement. Said reimbursements may be paid to the district in which the pupil is enrolled, the district of residence of the student, or the parent, guardian or person acting as guardian of the student; provided, however, that said district or parent provide documentation of the transportation expenditure. The board of education shall promulgate regulations for the program to be placed on file with the joint committee on education of the general court. The board of education shall disseminate information to parents and school systems detailing the availability of said transportation reimbursements. A full description of said nonresident vocational education transportation reimbursement program shall be submitted to the house and senate committees on ways and means and shall not become effective until ninety days after said submission. Nothing in this section shall confer upon any nonresident student attending a vocational school any right to transportation or reimbursement therefor.
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