Problems in the Federal Funding of School Bus Driver Training Programs

CED-77-60: Published: Apr 26, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 1977.

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Federal and State agencies' efforts to carry out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's school-bus-driver training programs were surveyed in eight states with driver-training programs. The investigation centered on funding provisions of section 406 of the 1974 Federal Highway Amendments, which authorized the Secretary of Transportation to make grants for school-bus-driver training and specified a level of funding of not less than $7.5 million in fiscal year 1976.

The State programs varied in approach and depth, but State transportation officials believed them to be adequate within the context of their total highway safety programs. Transportation officials in the eight states believed that enlargement of the programs to meet the funding requirements is impractical because: (1) school bus transportation is relatively safe, and driver training has a lower priority than other highway safety programs; (2) established driver-training programs could not be expanded effectively by using the section 406 funds; and (3) developing a more costly and sophisticated training program would be economically unsound. Portions of section 406 funds could be better used in other pupil transportation areas. Concerns over section 406 center around its funding rather than its objective of providing adequately trained bus drivers.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should submit proposed legislation to repeal the funding subsection of section 406, and should direct the Safety Administration to continue to emphasize the importance of school-bus-driver training programs through review of the states' annual work programs.

    Agency Affected:

 

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