Indiana Supreme Court Rules Schools Don't Have to Bus Students
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that public schools are not constitutionally required to bus students to and from school.
The ruling further clarifies state law, which already permitted public school corporations to opt out of providing transportation services.
The case stems from a decision by Franklin Township Community Schools to discontinue free bus service in the 2011-12 school year. Parents, upset by the district's action, filed a class-action lawsuit based on the premise that students had a constitutional right to bus service.
The district, which was facing severe financial difficulties, cut its free busing program because it could no longer afford it, Franklin Township Superintendent Flora Reichanadter said. It reinstated the program the following year after changes to state law allowed the district to restructure its debt.
Last June, the Indiana Court of Appeals found the school district violated the constitution when it stopped providing transportation to and from school. But the Supreme Court justices rejected that, saying that although the constitution refers to a free public education, "the framers did not intend for every aspect of public education to be free."