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.