State Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, is proposing next legislative session to allow school districts to lease city buses that are not being used. Rowden says it comes at a time when school transportation funding is under constant threat at the state level.
“There’s just less money available [from the state] to help pay for those busing requirements, and so if we can do something to kind of think outside-the-box, that’s what the goal of the legislation is,” he says.
Rowden says the city of Columbia, the Columbia public school district, and Columbia Chamber of Commerce all back the plan.
“It’s a system that’s working well in some other places and saving the city and saving schools a little bit of money,” says Rowden.
Rowden says the issue came up this year, but did not make it far.
“We cleared up some confusion [in 2017], and I think that the environment’s pretty good for us to hopefully get across the finish line and provide some relief,” says Rowden.
State Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, has filed similar legislation.
The 2018 Missouri legislative session starts January 3 in Jefferson City.
By Brad Tregnago of Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia