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AG says schools can't charge bus fee

July 13, 2010

The Indiana Attorney General says it’s unconstitutional to charge public school students to ride the bus.

The AG’s Office issued the nine-page legal opinion Monday after the Indiana State Board of Accounts questioned whether school corporations could legally require students to pay a bus rider fee. Several school corporations around the state proposed or planned on charging students to ride the bus as a way to offset rising costs and declining revenue.

The attorney general used the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision on permissible fees in Nagy, et al. v. Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp., 844 N.E.2d 481 (Ind. 2006), to determine that charging the bus fees is unconstitutional under Article 8, Section 1 of the state’s constitution. Attorney General Greg Zoeller determined the transportation of students to and from school is deemed a “part of a public education,” and the General Assembly hasn’t provided the governing body of any school corporation with the authority to assess, charge or collect a bus rider fee.

The opinion isn’t legally binding, but serves as a guideline.  
 

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