Murray Community School District (MCSD) filed a petition requesting a waiver from administrative rule 281-Iowa Administrative Code 43.1(c) for the 2018-19 school year. At issue is the requirement in rule 43.1(c) that "The riding time, under normal conditions, from the designated stop to the attendance center, or on the return trip, shall not exceed 75 minutes for high school pupils or 60 minutes for elementary pupils. (These limits may be waived on requests of the parents.)"
MCSD has found it difficult to find qualified bus drivers to transport students to and from school. As a result, the district has reduced the number of bus routes, but it has not reduced the number of students being served. With the reduction in the number of bus routes, it is difficult for MCSD to comply with rule 43.1(c) and continue to service the needs of all students.
The Department concludes that the criteria listed in rule 4.4 are satisfied: 1) Not waiving the rule would result in undue hardship to the petitioner; 2) Waiver would not prejudice the substantial legal rights of any person; 3) The provisions of the rule from which waiver is sought are not mandated by statute or other provision or law; 4) Substantially equal protection of public health, safety, and welfare will be afforded by a means other than that prescribed in the rule from which waiver is sought; and 5) Waiver would not have a negative impact on the student achievement of any person.
By decision made on December 20, 2018, the petition of waiver is granted with the understanding that the district will not impose school bus ride times that exceed 90 minutes for any student under normal riding conditions and this waiver is only for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.