A shortage of bus drivers is causing significant challenges in helping students get to school. Recent legislation introduced by Reps. Colin Larson (R) and Mary Young (D) and Sens. Rachel Zenzinger (D) and Cleave Simpsons (R) encourage innovative solutions, strategies, and services to address the public school’s transportation shortage.
The current transportation shortage accentuated by the pandemic has demonstrated the need for modernized transportation systems to meet the unique educational needs of all students especially those who have been traditionally underserved.
House Bill 1395 would create a competitive transportation innovation grant program to fund districts and schools serving students from under-resourced communities who are disproportionately impacted by the transportation shortage and struggle to access school districts of their choice and career pathway programs because of their limited access to transportation.
The legislation recognizes the growing need for transportation to offset career and technical education programs, internships, apprenticeships, and other career-connected learning opportunities and aims to provide more equitable transportation access to these opportunities.
The grant program would address this by funding and encouraging partnerships among school districts to increase access to the growing number of “innovation centers” or other unique models of shared facilities. The Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, for example, allows students from neighboring school districts including Englewood, Sheridan and Littleton to access CTE pathways such as airplane maintenance, auto repair, nursing and construction.