In August, Melody Musgrove, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs within the U.S. Department of Education, responded to an inquiry asking when IDEA funds could be used to support the transportation needs of students who are homeless and who have a disability.
Below is an abbreviated summary of Musgrove’s letter, which should be read in its entirety for a full explanation.
- Students with disabilities who are homeless can use both McKenney-Vento Act and IDEA Part B funds for transportation to their school of origin, depending on the circumstances. Transportation is a related service under IDEA. If the IEP Team determines a student needs transportation as a related service then IDEA funds can be used to provide transportation to the child.
- While IDEA Part B funds are generally used only to pay for the excess cost of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities, there are instances when an “incidental benefit” is provided to children without disabilities. Such an instance may occur if a bus for a student with disabilities has extra seats, then students without disabilities may be able to also use this bus, provided the purchase of this bus complies with IDEA’s permissive use of funds.
For more information, see Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Eligible for Transportation, which is posted on the Department’s Web site.