At issue in this matter is a vehicle owned by the Sioux Center Christian School [SCCS], an accredited, non-public school located in the Sioux Center Community School District. The SCCS bus crosses district boundary lines in order to pick up its students. The District and SCCS have an agreement where the SCCS bus also picks up the District's own regularly enrolled students, in addition to SCCS students. The bus does not pick up public students open-enrolled to the District, and no resident student of the District rides the bus outside of the District boundaries.
The beltline of the SCCS bus displays the name "Sioux Center Christian School", placing it in conflict with departmental rule Iowa Administrative Code 281--44.4(20)"b", which states "The bus, whether school-owned or contractor-owned, shall have displayed at the beltline on each side of the vehicle the official name of the school in black standard unshaded letters at least 5 inches, but not more than 7 inches high.".
The District requests that the Sioux City Christian School (SCCS) bus be allowed to retain its present identification on the beltline of the bus while maintaining the status quo for transportation of public and nonpublic students, a non-public accredited school which has an attendance center located in the Sioux Center Community School District.
The Director must consider the following when reviewing a petition to waive a rule: 1. Not waiving the rule would cause an undue hardship to the petitioner2. Approving the waiver would not prejudice the substantial legal rights of any person3. The provisions of the rule from which waiver is sought are not mandated by statute or other provision of law4. Substantially equal protection of public health, safety, and welfare will be afforded by a means other than that prescribed in the rule from which the waiver is sought.5. Approving the waiver would not have a negative impact on the student achievement of any person.
Criterion #1: There is no evidence to show the District would suffer undue hardship, if the waiver was not granted.Criterion #2: The policy underlying the requirement in this rule is designed to ensure the public is made aware when public students are being transported. A waiver would compromise this policy. However ....the Director has the right to place a condition on a waiver to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.Criterion #3: The provisions of this rule are not mandated by statute or other provision of law.Criterion #4: The intent of this rule will be met if the SCCS driver does one of two things when picking up the first District student: places a magnetic or other temporary nameplate on the beltline bearing the name of the District or places a placard in a bus window in a place where it can be seen by the public but not obstruct the driver's view of traffic. Criterion #5: Waiving this rule would not have a negative impact on the student achievement of any person.
This request for waiver is GRANTED, provided the District assures this agency it will follow one of the two preceding alternatives designed to let the public know when students of the District are being transported by the SCCS bus.