115C-250. Authority to expend funds for transportation of children with disabilities.

(a) The State Board of Education and local boards of education may expend public funds for transportation of children with disabilities who are unable because of their disability to ride the regular school buses and who have been placed in programs by a local school board as a part of its duty to provide these children with a free appropriate education under Article 9 of this Chapter. At the option of the local board of education with the concurrence of the State Board of Education, funds appropriated to the State Board of Education for contract transportation of children with disabilities may be used to purchase buses and minibuses as well as for the purposes authorized in the budget. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules concerning the construction and equipment of these buses and minibuses.

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and Correction may also expend public funds for transportation of children with disabilities who are unable because of their disability to ride the regular school buses and who have been placed in programs by one of these agencies as a part of that agency's duty to provide these children with a free appropriate public education under Article 9 of this Chapter.

If a local area mental health center places a child with a disability in an educational program, the local area mental health center shall pay for the transportation of the child who is unable due to the disability to ride the regular school buses to the program.

(b) Funds appropriated for the transportation of children with disabilities may be used to pay transportation safety assistants employed in accordance with G.S. 115C-245(e) for buses to which children with disabilities are assigned. (1955, c. 1372, art. 21, s. 6; 1973, c. 1351, s. 1; 1975, c. 678, ss. 9, 10; 1977, c. 830, s. 1; 1979, c. 719, ss. 1-4; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1156; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; c. 912, s. 1; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1282, s. 31; 1985, c. 479, s. 26(b); 1987, c. 769; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1998-202, s. 4(n); 2000-137, s. 4(q); 2006-69, s. 3(h).)