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Appeal Decisions

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BOOK: 26 
MONTH-YEAR: October - 2013
IN RE: Transportation of Open Enrolled Pupils
APPELLANT: Clinton T. Buckingham
APPELLEE: Riverside Community School District
KEYWORDS: Transportation
DETAILS: Mr. Buckingham sought reversal of a decision the local Board of Directors of the Riverside District [''Riverside Board''] made on August 19, 2013, rejecting his and the Treynor Community School District Board [''Treynor Board''] requests that the Riverside Board allow a school bus owned and operated by the Treynor Community School District [''Treynor District''] to enter the Riverside District, which is on the way to the Treynor District, to pick up his children and transport them to the Treynor District.

Mr. Buckingham argues that all parties were aware of the Riverside Board policy regarding transportation of open enrolled students and that both districts overlooked the policy for years and allowed this transportation to take place.  Mr. Buckingham argues that putting a stop to a practice that has been in place for 12 years is irrational and unreasonable.
  While Mr. Buckinghams arguments might appear to be reasonable arguments, they must fail for several reasons.  First, the Riverside Board was not overlooking its policy.  This transportation arrangement was occurring without the knowledge or approval of the Riverside Board and it was in violation of the boards current transportation policy.  Second, the question of whether or not the district abused its discretion in making its decision is answered by asking whether a reasonable person would have found sufficient evidence to come to the same conclusion as the district. 

Here the Riverside District openly admits that to allow open enrollment transportation has a negative impact on the districts enrollment.  The Riverside District does not want to encourage open enrollment by having these transportation arrangements in place.  A reasonable person could find that the loss of enrollment is a rational basis for the districts decision.  Furthermore, it is not arbitrary or capricious for a district to make a decision not to allow buses from neighboring districts to enter its district to pick up open enrolled students.   
  The transportation of students who are open enrolled is the responsibility of the students parents or guardians.  Furthermore, the administrative rule interpreting this statute provides that transportation is the responsibility of the parent or guardian, and that it is discretionary with the district whether it agrees to allow buses from other districts into its territory. 
OUTCOMES: A reasonable person could have found sufficient evidence to determine that the Riverside Boards refusal of Mr. Buckinghams request was a rational decision.  The local Board took no action that it was prohibited from taking under section 282.18(10).  There were no grounds by which this agency could reverse the underlying decision.  The decision of the Board of Directors of the Riverside Community School District made on August 19, 2013, is AFFIRMED.