SECTION 1. Section 89 of chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out subsection (cc) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
(cc) The students who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located shall be provided transportation to the charter school by the resident school district on similar terms and conditions as transportation is provided to students attending local district schools if the transportation is requested by the charter school. The charter school and the sending district shall meet to plan bus routes and charter school starting and ending times in order to assist the district with the most cost effective and equitable means of transportation. The school district shall only be responsible for transportation costs on days that both district and charter schools are in session. The school district shall be responsible for the cost of said transportation; provided, however, that if the school district and the charter school do not reach agreement on the start time of the charter schools day, the school district shall be responsible for only 50 per cent of the actual charter schools transportation costs and the remaining 50% of the actual charter school transportation cost shall be deducted from the charter tuition assessment paid by the municipality. The municipality and school district in which a charter is located shall not be responsible for any transportation costs incurred by a charter school through an independent transportation vendor.
If a school district limits transportation for district school students, the charter schools transportation shall be subject to the same limitations, which may include travel distance limits, mode of transportation, attendance zones, geographic subdivisions of the district, or limits included in a districts school assignment or transportation policies.
Schools operating under a charter granted after January 1, 1997, and all charter schools operating during fiscal year 1999 and thereafter, shall not receive funds for transportation above the amount actually required by such charter school for the provision of transportation services to eligible students. If the sending district provides an alternative method of transportation for students enrolled in the sending districts public schools, it shall not be assessed for transportation costs which exceed the per pupil cost of said alternative. Costs for transportation shall be included only if transportation is provided for students in the same program and grade level as those in the charter school. Students who do not reside in the district in which the charter school is located shall be eligible for transportation in accordance with section 12B of chapter 76. A regional charter school as designated by the board, and whose charter provides for transportation of all students from charter municipalities shall also be reimbursed by the commonwealth under section 16C of chapter 71 for transportation provided to pupils residing outside the municipality where the charter school is located, but no reimbursement for transportation between the charter school and home shall be made on account of any pupil who resides less than 1.5 miles from the charter school, measured by a commonly traveled route.
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