Update: New York State Education Department Extends Deadline For Transportation Requests to Non-Public Schools

April 1, 2020

By: Candace J. Gomez and Ayanna Y. Thomas

On March 30, 2020, the New York State Education Department extended the deadline for all parental requests pursuant to Section 3635 of the Education Law for transportation to non-public and charter schools during the 2020-2021 school year to April 15, 2020. Normally, under Section 3635, parents must file requests with their district of residence by April 1 or within 30 days of moving to the district, and the district must provide transportation services to non-public schools when the distance between the student’s home and the non-public school is within the district’s distance limitations. 

However, the Department explained that extending the April 1 deadline to April 15 was warranted because of mandated school closures due to the COVID-19 crisis, and it recognized that school districts would have to consider how the transportation requests would impact their budget. 

The following message was posted on NYSED’s website: 

“Please note that due to the closure of schools pursuant to the Executive Order(s) issued by the Governor for the COVID-19 crisis and recognizing that such requests need to be incorporated into a school district’s budget, the Department directs all public school districts to accept all parental requests for transportation to charter and nonpublic schools submitted on or before April 15, 2020. The Department deems such Executive Order(s) [to] be a reasonable excuse for a delay under Ed. Law 3635.”

Since it is the school district’s responsibility to make sure parents are aware of these transportation request deadlines, we recommend that school districts notify parents of the April 15 deadline on their website and/or via robocall, and update their transportation request forms to reflect the new deadline. 

If you have any questions regarding this information memo, please contact Candace Gomez, Ayanna Thomas, any of the attorneys in Bond’s School Law Practice, or the attorney at the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.