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  • Summary date: Mar 16 2021 - View Summary

    Identical to H 256, filed 3/10/21.

    Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to establish the Smart School Bus Safety Pilot Program (program) with up to 17 authorized local school administrative units, beginning with the 2021-22 school year and ending on or before January 1, 2025. Requires participating units to contract with qualifying vendors to provide technology and services for student transportation. Allows DPI to authorize a replacement unit with similar student population to participate in the program in the event an authorized unit elects not to participate. Provides ten minimum requirements for the technology and services provided, including improving overall communications and reporting on school buses, and enabling GPS tracking of school buses. Details requirements and contingencies of participation, including requiring the outfitting of school buses designed to transport children with disabilities as appropriate, providing that hardware becomes the property of the unit at the program's conclusion, and requiring that the technology be used through at least the conclusion of the 2023-24 school year. 

    Requires DPI to annually report, beginning July 1, 2022, to the specified NCGA committees and division. Details report requirements. 

    Appropriates $11,039,330 from the General Fund to DPI for 2021-22 to establish the program. Allocates the funds in specified amounts to each unit authorized to participate in the program.