Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Transportation Issue per DESE

In light of the on-going discussion and debate concerning the bus issues at MVRCS, we reached out to Jay Sullivan who handles transportation and reimbursement issues at the DESE. He did in fact acknowledge that MVRCS has been notified that they must provide transportation to any student who lives 2.0 miles from school. According to Mr. Sullivan, since buses do not fly, MVRCs can not determine a students eligibility for busing based on linear mileage. He suggested using Mapqest ( to determine the most 'common route' (and therefore mileage) to school. The unfortunate part is that although Mr. Sullivan was informed that no announcement was made on the part of the school, according to the rules or laws of the DESE, they are not required to do so. Even more unfortunately, the Mr. Sullivan was not concerned about the schools unwillingness to rectify or properly inform parents since being informed of their mistake. He did however suggest that parents who have have not had their transportation issue rectified, contact the school (specifically Rick Veilleux at either 781-324-1875 or 978-667-0109 or you can email him at
If you are still unable to rectify the situation with Mr. Veilleux, then Mr. Jay Sullivan should be contacted @ 781-338-6594).

While Mr. Sullivan was providing information, he did verify that the school does receive transportation reimbursement that has not yet been determined for this year. As I believe Mr. Veilleux stated at the meeting, the district was entitled to a reimbursement of $323,564.00 for 2009 school year, the reimbursement percentage for that year was 85.74% which was $277,451.00. The financial report for that year has not been published yet at the DESE to determine the actual cost to the school. More detail can be found here (Transportation Reimbursement Information ) regarding previous years data.

We did note a discrepancy on the DESE website regarding mileage and will attempt to verify the information. In a 'Technical Advisory' regarding reimbursement (found here:
Technical Advisory Regarding Transportation), as  MVRCS is a regional charter school (i.e. servicing a number of districts), then the following applies which states that the distance is 1.5 miles. This may have changed since it was last updated (July 27, 2007). If anyone has any additional information regarding this, please let us know but until then we will attempt to clarify the information.

• Regional Transportation Reimbursement
In order to be eligible for reimbursement through the state regional transportation reimbursement program, a charter school must:
1. Be designated a regional charter school by the Board of Education; and
2. Have a charter that provides for the transportation of all students who reside in the charter school's designated region but outside the district in which the charter school is located.
If the charter school meets both of these conditions, the charter school is entitled to claim reimbursement for those students who reside outside the municipality in which the charter is located and reside 1½ miles or more from the charter school (see M.G.L. Ch. 71 § 89(ff) and M.G.L. Ch. 71 § 16C). This program is funded by the state as a specific line item in the state budget and as such, is subject to appropriation. It has been funded at varying levels, from 47% to 100% of the costs eligible for reimbursement, from FY96 through FY07.
Each charter school's reimbursement under this program is determined by multiplying the total allowable claimed costs by the funding percentage determined by that year's budget appropriation. The cost data for this program is also collected on the Schedule 7C in the Charter School End of Year Financial Report.
Schools receive the reimbursement in one or two installments during the year following the school year in which the costs are incurred. For example, costs incurred during the 2006 - 2007 school year are reimbursed during the 2007 - 2008 school year.

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