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ESSA Foster Care Transportation Reimbursement Form
This form is being used by the Departments of Education and Human Services to collect transportation data in order to reimburse the district of origin for additional costs incurred in the transportation of children placed in foster care when the best interest determination indicated the child should continue to attend the school of origin. The district of origin should complete this form on a quarterly basis for each child placed in foster care and receiving transportation services to the school of origin. In addition, the district of origin should only complete this form for foster care children when their "transportation classification" is considered contiguous, non-contiguous, or out of state. All other "transportation classifications" should not be reported in this form.

The form will become available for claim submission during the following scheduled dates. For the 1st quarter of the fiscal year, the reimbursement form will be available on September 30th and remain available to complete until October 21st. For the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year, the reimbursement form will be available on December 31st and remain available to complete until January 21st. For the 3rd quarter of the fiscal year, the reimbursement form will be available on March 31st and remain available to complete until April 21st. For the 4th quarter of the fiscal year, the reimbursement form will be available on June 30th and remain available to complete until July 21st. If you have questions about this reimbursement form, please contact Steve Crew, Department of Education Point of Contact, at Steve.Crew@iowa.gov.

The district of origin and local DHS must collaborate to establish the most cost effective means of transportation available, which could include school transportation vehicles, public or regional transportation, and/or voluntary or paid assistance from foster care providers or family members of the child. In determining whether transportation is “cost effective,” the district of origin must consider the reasonableness of those costs. If a more costly means of transportation is selected, the district of origin must be able to provide support for why that means of transportation was chosen. If costs claimed are considered excessive, those costs may not be reimbursed. When selecting a means of transportation, the district of origin should consider a variety of factors, including cost, distance, and length of travel, as well as whether the means of transportation is developmentally appropriate for the child. In addition, it is important for the district of origin and local DHS to engage the foster care provider in the discussions about the means of transportation.

The district of origin should also consider whether transportation can be provided for minimal or no additional costs. Examples of no-cost or low-cost options for transportation that the district of origin and local DHS could explore include whether:
• The child may be dropped off at a school bus stop near the existing transportation system of the school of origin;
• Public transportation options exist, if the child is of an appropriate age and has or is able to acquire the skills to utilize such options;
• The foster care provider or other individual(s) are willing and able to safely transport the child to school (the district of origin should get prior approval from the local DHS and the local DHS should follow DHS protocols);
• There are pre-existing bus routes or stops close to the foster care placement that cross district boundaries; and
• The child is already eligible for transportation covered by other programs.

After determining a means of transportation, it is the district of origin’s responsibility to coordinate the establishment of the transportation route for the child between the school of origin and the foster care placement. The transportation route created must use existing transportation routes and arrangements, to the extent available and practicable. In addition, the district of origin must consider the needs of children in foster care when establishing transportation routes and arrangements and cooperate with other districts to ensure joint compliance with this requirement. If a transportation dispute arises between the district of origin and local DHS or between districts, the district of origin has financial responsibility to provide transportation from the child’s foster care placement to the school of origin until the dispute is resolved.

The district of origin, incurring additional transportation costs, shall track those costs and report them on this form on a quarterly basis in order to receive transportation reimbursement. The transportation costs considered additional transportation costs are defined in the transportation guidance written by the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services. The Departments of Education and Human Services may request additional supporting documentation from the school district seeking reimbursement on any submitted claim. Such request shall be in writing and sent to the school district and the non-requesting agency.

Intra-district transportation routes (routes within the district of origin) are not reimbursable and should not be included in this claim form. If multiple students are transported together, the district should only complete one claim form. List information for all students transported together in the claim form.

The additional transportation costs calculated for a contiguous district foster care placement is the financial responsibility of the district of origin. The district of origin will collect transportation data identified in the transportation guidance drafted by the Departments of Education and Human Services and on a quarterly basis submit such data on the required form. The Departments will use the data submitted and make reasonable efforts to access federal funds to reimburse the school districts for transportation expenses of eligible children allowable under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act. If federal funds are made available, the school district will be reimbursed with the federal funds received under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act.

The additional transportation costs calculated for a non-contiguous district foster care placement is the financial responsibility of both DHS and the district of origin. DHS’ financial obligation for additional costs of transportation shall not exceed the lesser of actual daily transportation costs incurred by the district of origin or the maximum daily rate. The maximum daily rate is calculated by formula using information listed on the most recent year’s “Annual Transportation Data for Iowa Public Schools”. The maximum daily rate equals the “State Average Cost per Pupil Transported” multiplied by 20 and divided by 180 school days. The current maximum daily rate for 2017 is $70.72/day. This rate will be updated every January to the most current rate. On a case-by-case basis, the DE and DHS State level POCs can, through agreement, increase the maximum daily rate DHS is responsible for when the transportation situation warrants greater costs above those that would typically be expected. In addition to the maximum daily rate DHS is responsible for, the Departments will use the data submitted and make reasonable efforts to access federal funds to reimburse the school districts for transportation expenses of eligible children allowable under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act. If federal funds are made available, the school district will be reimbursed with the federal funds received under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act.

The additional transportation costs calculated for an out of state foster care placement is the financial responsibility of both DHS and the district of origin. DHS’ financial obligation for additional costs of transportation shall not exceed the lesser of actual daily transportation costs incurred by the district of origin or the maximum daily rate. The maximum daily rate is calculated by formula using information listed on the most recent year’s “Annual Transportation Data for Iowa Public Schools”. The maximum daily rate equals the “State Average Cost per Pupil Transported” multiplied by 20 and divided by 180 school days. The current maximum daily rate for 2017 is $70.72/day. This rate will be updated every January to the most current rate. On a case-by-case basis, the DE and DHS State level POCs can, through agreement, increase the maximum daily rate DHS is responsible for when the transportation situation warrants greater costs above those that would typically be expected. In addition to the maximum daily rate DHS is responsible for, the Departments will use the data submitted and make reasonable efforts to access federal funds to reimburse the school districts for transportation expenses of eligible children allowable under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act. If federal funds are made available, the school district will be reimbursed with the federal funds received under Chapter IV-E of the federal Social Security Act.

The maximum amount a district can claim as reimbursement is limited to $150/day unless the state level reviewers of the claim determine addtional costs per day should be allowed.

Email address *
District Number *
Please enter the district's four digit number.
Your answer
District Name *
Please list the complete name of the school district.
Your answer
Billing Quarter *
The transportation costs should be incurred between, and including, the dates listed for each billing period.
County of Placing DHS Case Manager *
Please select the county where the DHS Case Manager placing the student is located.
School of Origin (Building Name) *
Please list the name of the school building the student was attending when they were placed in foster care or their foster care placement changed.
Your answer
District of Foster Care Placement *
Please list the complete name of the district where the foster care placement is located.
Your answer
Distance from School of Origin to Foster Care Placement *
Please list the one way trip distance in miles between the student's home and the school attended.
Your answer
Number of Days of Transportation *
Only include the number of days the student was actually transported during the quarter.
Your answer
Date Local DHS Notified of Transportation Plan *
Please choose the date the school district notified the local DHS staff worker of the transportation plan.
MM
/
DD
/
YYYY
Date Transportation Intitated *
Please choose the date the student was first transported.
MM
/
DD
/
YYYY
Date Transportation Ended
Only complete this section if transportation for the student ended during the quarter.
MM
/
DD
/
YYYY
Additional Transportation Reimbursement
Please list any other entity (do not include the Iowa Departments of Education and Human Services) providing transportation reimbursement.
Your answer
Additional Transportation Reimbursement Amount
Please list the amount of reimbursement from any other entity (do not include the Iowa Departments of Education and Human Services) being provided for this student.
Your answer
Student State ID Number *
List the student's unique, educational state ID number. This number is 10 digits long. Please do NOT list the student's social security number.
Your answer
Transportation Classification *
A foster care placement is contiguous if the district where the foster care placement is located borders the district of origin. Secondly, a foster care placement is non-contiguous if the district where the foster care placement is located does not directly border the district of origin. Lastly, a foster care placement is out of state if the district where the foster care placement is located in another state.
Means of Transportation *
Please choose the means of transportation for this specific student. If the means of transportation changed during the quarter, please enter the information for that student for each different means of transportation.
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