Many parents are trying to decide how their children will get to school this year. Will they drive them themselves, enlist the help of a neighbor, have them bike to school or take the school bus? While the answers depend on numerous factors, including distance and the age of the student, one thing that must be considered is whether the child is a special education student.
Options Available to Special Education Students
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), special education students are required to be offered transportation by the school district to allow them to take part in their free, appropriate public educations. Therefore, students in California should be offered transportation. Whether this is a bus or some other type of vehicle is up to the school district. The most important piece of the decision is that the transportation should use the least restrictive environment possible.
Parents should find out how long their special needs children will be on a bus or other type of school transportation each day. Depending on the physical or mental needs of the child, some rides can be much too long. This is a subject that could be discussed in the IEP to ensure that children are kept comfortable and happy throughout the school day.