An ‘Advisory’ from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller:
ADVISORY: Attorney General’s office determines bus rider fees are unconstitutional
In response to a request from the State Board of Accounts, the Attorney General’s office has issued a legal opinion on the matter involving Indiana school corporations charging student bus rider fees. The Attorney General’s office provides legal advice to statewide elected officials, state legislators, state agencies and the 92 county prosecutors. The office does not make or recommend policy, rather it guides state officials in their efforts to understand specific state statutes, policies and procedures.
A summary of the legal opinion offered to the State Board of Accounts is below. The full legal analysis is available online.
Opinion Summary: The legislature has identified transportation of school children as a part of what would constitute a uniform system of public education in Indiana. The governing body of a school corporation is required to provide transportation under some circumstances and authorized to provide transportation for its students otherwise. The legislature has not provided the governing body of a school corporation with the specific authority to assess, charge, or collect a school bus rider fee from the students of the school corporation.