The DeSoto Parish School Board shall provide to eligible students school transportation services which shall meet the objectives of safety, efficiency, adequacy, and economy.  Through the use of publicly and privately owned buses, the School Board shall maintain a student transportation program that shall conform to or exceed minimum standards as set forth by pertinent statutes and the Louisiana Department of Education, as well as regulations established by the School Board in the DeSoto Parish School Board Transportation Handbook.  It shall be unlawful for the School Board to permit a number of children exceeding the number of seats available on a bus to be transported at one time on such bus.


All vehicles, owned by either the school district or contract bus operators, shall carry evidence of insurance and be registered, marked, and equipped according to law. Contract bus operators who purchase their own insurance shall be required to annually submit to the Superintendent or designee proof of proper and valid insurance coverage prior to any usage of the bus.  Should any coverage aspects or insurance policy provisions change during the year, the bus operator shall notify the Superintendent or designee within twenty-four (24) hours of notification of change in coverage.


All buses and other vehicles used primarily for the transportation of students shall be inspected by the assigned operator and the Superintendent or designee on a regular basis.  All school vehicles shall be inspected a minimum of twice a year, once during June, July, or August, and certified as safe prior to the beginning of the school session, and once during December, January, or February  of each school year, by an approved  Louisiana Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.  Buses fifteen (15) years of age or older may be inspected more frequently than other buses to assure effectiveness of operation and safety of students.  No bus shall be operated without a proper inspection tag certifying that a bus has met or exceeded minimum safety standards.


All school buses used to transport students shall at all times be driven by operators possessing a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with proper endorsements and having completed state-required pre-service certification training.  All school bus operators, including contract bus operators, shall be required to personally operate the school bus assigned or owned, except in the case of illness or emergency.  In such cases, a substitute shall be assigned by the Superintendent or designee.  Operators who operate buses equipped with air brakes an air brakes endorsement on their CDL.




It is the policy of the DeSoto Parish School Board that any used school bus purchased for use in the system shall meet current statutory requirements for motor vehicles and shall meet Louisiana specifications for school buses that were in effect on the date the vehicle was manufactured.  All bus purchases shall require prior approval of the School Board.


School buses used to transport students, including activity and backup buses, shall not be more than twenty-five (25) years old.  All replacement school buses, at the time they are acquired by the owner, shall be ten (10) or less model years old.  The number of years shall be reckoned from the date of introduction of the model year.  This shall apply to buses purchased by veteran owners/operators, by newly hired owners/operators and by the School Board, individual schools, booster clubs, etc., for the purposes of transporting children to and from school and school-related activities and for use as spare buses.


When a new bus is purchased or the ownership of a bus is transferred, the operator shall assure that the bus is in compliance with all requirements contained in applicable laws and school district regulations.  All buses so purchased shall be required to satisfactorily pass all mandated inspections prior to any usage.


Approved:  November, 2003



Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:158, 17:158.1, 17:158.2, 17:158.3, 17:158.4, 17:158.5, 17:158.6, 17:158.7, 17:159, 17:159.1, 17:159.2, 17:160, 17:161, 17:162, 17:163, 17:164, 17:165, 17:166, 17:492, 32:293, 32:378

Olive Morgan v. Livingston Parish School Board, First Circuit Court of Appeals, March 1991

Louisiana School Transportation Specifications and Procedures, Bulletin 119, §701§2501§2903, Louisiana Department of Education


DeSoto Parish School Board