WSR 02-14-116

PROPOSED RULES

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION


[ Filed July 2, 2002, 2:00 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-10-084.

Title of Rule: Chapter 180-20 WAC, School bus driver qualifications.

Purpose: To make amendments to and repeals of sections in chapter 180-20 WAC.

Other Identifying Information: Changes to this chapter made as a result of the State Board of Education mandate review.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28A.160.210.

Summary: Amendments, repeals and addition of sections for clarification and technical purposes.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To set minimum standards and qualifications for public school district employees and contractors operating school buses for the transportation of school children.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Larry Davis, State Board of Education, Olympia, (360) 725-6024.

Name of Proponent: State Board of Education.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: To set minimum standards and qualifications for public school district employees and contractors operating school buses for the transportation of school children.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amends, repeals and adds language to chapter 180-20 WAC.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not applicable.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Not applicable.

Hearing Location: Enumclaw School District Board Room, 2929 McDougall Avenue, Enumclaw, WA 98022-7499, on August 21, 2002, at 8:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Laura Moore by August 13, 2002, TDD (360) 664-3631, or (360) 725-6027.

Submit Written Comments to: Rules Coordinator, State Board of Education, P.O. Box 47206, Olympia, WA 98504-7206, Patty Martin, Associate Director, fax (360) 586-2357, by August 13, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 23, 2002.

June 27, 2002

Larry Davis

Executive Director

OTS-5498.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-08-007, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93)

WAC 180-20-005   Purpose and authority.   ((RCW 28A.160.210 authorizes the state board of education to adopt rules and regulations governing the training, qualifications, and eligibility requirements for school bus drivers.)) (1) The purpose of this chapter is to set the minimum standards and qualifications for public school district employees and contractors operating school buses for the transportation of school children.

(2) The authority for this chapter is RCW 28A.160.210.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 93-08-007, 180-20-005, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 180-20-007   Chapter requirements -- Employment.   The requirements in this chapter shall not limit discharge, nonrenewal of contracts, or other employment action by employers of such drivers.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 180-20-009   Definitions.   As used in this chapter, the following terms mean:

(1) "Student" means the following:

(a) Any person enrolled in a school program who is under the supervision, direction, or control of the motor vehicle operator authorized under this chapter;

(b) Any person enrolled in a school program in any public school served by the motor vehicle operator;

(c) Any person enrolled in a school program in any public school while attending a school related activity at which the motor vehicle operator is performing professional duties; or

(d) Any former student who is under eighteen years of age and who has been under the supervision, direction, or control of the motor vehicle operator. Former student, for the purpose of this section, includes, but is not limited to, dropouts, graduates, and students who transfer to other districts or schools.

(2) "School bus driver" means a person, who is employed by a school district including contracted drivers under WAC 180-20-031 (1) and (2) and as part of that employment or contract, operates a school bus as defined in WAC 392-143-010, as well as other motor vehicles for the regularly scheduled transportation of students between home and school, and for school related activities on routinely scheduled routes. School buses shall be operated by authorized drivers when transporting students. An authorized school bus driver may also transport students on field trips and other school related activities.

(3) "A school bus driver's authorization" means an authorization issued by the superintendent of public instruction indicating that the person has met state board of education requirements to operate a school bus or other motor vehicle for the purpose of transporting students to and from school routinely on scheduled routes and/or school activities.

(4) "School bus driver instructor's endorsement" means an endorsement issued by the superintendent of public instruction to a person successfully completing the superintendent of public instruction approved school bus driver instructor course. This endorsement qualifies a person to train and verify the training of school bus drivers. This endorsement shall lapse unless the holder successfully completes an annual school bus driver instructor's in-service course.

(5) "School bus driver training course" means a course established by the superintendent of public instruction and taught by a qualified school bus driver instructor. This course shall be successfully completed by all applicants for a continuing school bus driver's authorization.

(6) "School bus driver annual in-service training course" means an annual course taught by a qualified school bus driver instructor. The content and minimum time requirements of such course shall be annually determined by the superintendent of public instruction and shall be required to be completed by the end of the school year by all authorized school bus drivers.

(7) "School bus driver instructor's course" means a training program authorized by the superintendent of public instruction to qualify a person as a school bus driver instructor.

(8) "Instructor's annual in-service course" means an annual required course, the content of which shall be determined by the superintendent of public instruction. Successful completion of this course prevents the instructor's qualification from lapsing.

(9) "Serious behavioral problem" includes, but is not limited to, conduct which indicates unfitness to carry out the responsibilities related to the occupation or job performance of transporting children, such as: Dishonesty; immorality; or misuse of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a prescription drug; or furnishing alcohol or controlled substances to a minor or student.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-08-007, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93)

WAC 180-20-031   Application to contractors.   (1) Every contract between a school district and a private school bus contractor for pupil transportation services shall provide for compliance with the requirements of this chapter and establish the responsibility of the contractor or school district, or both, to assure compliance with such requirements.

(2) Each driver employed by a private school bus contractor under contract with a school district to provide pupil transportation services shall meet the requirements of this chapter, and shall be subject to the denial, suspension, and revocation of authority to operate a motor vehicle under this chapter.

(3) Every contract between a school district and a charter bus carrier or excursion carrier, or subcontracted carrier shall require a carrier profile report indicating a satisfactory rating from the Washington utilities and transportation commission before any service is provided. No driver under this subsection shall have unsupervised access to children. Supervision of children under this subsection shall be provided by a responsible employee of the school district.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 93-08-007, 180-20-031, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-08-004, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99)

WAC 180-20-101   Minimum qualifications of school bus drivers.   (1) Every school bus driver must meet and continue to meet the following minimum requirements:

(a) Be at least twenty-one years of age.

(b) Have a valid driver's license or commercial driver's license, as required by law, issued by the state department of licensing.

(c) Have at least one year of experience as a driver of a truck or commercial vehicle requiring a special endorsement or, in the alternative, at least three years of experience as a driver of a passenger vehicle.

(d) Hold a current and valid first aid card or equivalent which certifies that the applicant has completed a course in the basic principles of first aid.

(e) Submit to the school district a disclosure of all crimes against children or other persons and all civil adjudications in a dependency action or in a domestic relation action and all disciplinary board final decisions of sexual abuse or exploitation or physical abuse as required by RCW 43.43.834(2) and disclosure of all convictions which may be grounds for denial of authorization under (h), (i), and (j) of this subsection.

(f) Submit to a criminal record check according to chapter 28A.400 RCW which shows that no offenses have been committed which would be grounds for denial of an authorization.

(g) Shall not have misrepresented or concealed a material fact in obtaining a school bus driver's authorization or in reinstatement thereof in the previous five years.

(h) Shall not have had a driving license privilege suspended or revoked within the preceding three years; a certified copy of the suspension or revocation order issued by the department of licensing being conclusive evidence of the suspension or revocation.

(i) Shall not have incurred three or more speeding tickets in excess of ten miles per hour over the speed limit within any twelve-month period, within the last thirty-six months.

(j) Shall not have been convicted of any misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony (including instances in which a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is the basis for the conviction) ((or any proceedings in which the charge has been)) nor under a deferred ((from)) prosecution under chapter 10.05 RCW ((or the sentence has been deferred or suspended, and)) where the conduct or alleged conduct is related to the occupation of a school bus driver, including but not limited to the following:

(i) Any felony crime involving the physical neglect of a child under chapter 9A.42 RCW, the physical injury or death of a child under chapter 9A.32 or 9A.36 RCW, sexual exploitation of a child under chapter 9.68A RCW; sexual offenses under chapter 9A.44 RCW where a minor is the victim; promoting prostitution of a minor under chapter 9A.88 RCW; the sale or purchase of a minor child under RCW 9A.64.030, or violation of similar laws of another jurisdiction;

(ii) Any crime involving the use, sale, possession, or transportation of any controlled substance or prescription within the last seven years: Provided, That in the case of felony convictions, the applicable time limit shall be ten years;

(iii) Any crime involving driving when a driver's license is suspended or revoked, hit and run driving, driving while intoxicated, being in physical control of motor vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving, negligent driving of a serious nature, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, within the last three years;

(iv) Any crime against children or other persons as defined in RCW 43.43.830(5) when the date of the conviction or prison release, which ever is more recent, is within ten years of the date of the job application for felonies and within seven years for other crimes.

(k) Shall not have been found in any dependency action under RCW 13.34.030 to have sexually assaulted or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor, within the last seven years.

(l) Shall not have been found by a court in a domestic relation proceeding under Title 26 RCW, to have sexually abused or exploited any minor or to have physically abused any minor, within the last seven years.

(m) Shall not have been found in any disciplinary board final decision to have sexually or physically abused or exploited any minor or developmentally disabled person, within the last seven years.

(n) Shall not have intentionally and knowingly transported public school students within the state of Washington within the previous five years with an expired, lapsed, surrendered, or revoked authorization in a position for which authorization is required under this chapter.

(o) Shall not have a serious behavioral problem which endangers the educational welfare or personal safety of students, teachers, bus drivers, or other colleagues. ((For the purpose of this chapter, a serious behavioral problem includes, but is not limited to, conduct which indicates unfitness to carry out the responsibilities related to the occupation or job performance of transporting children, such as: Dishonesty; immorality; or misuse of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a prescription drug; or furnishing alcohol or controlled substances to a minor or student.)) This subsection shall not be applied so as to deny, revoke, or suspend authorizations to any individual for the orderly exercise during off-duty hours of any rights guaranteed under the law to citizens generally, except where such conduct indicates a safety risk for the transportation of students.

(2) Every school bus driver must also meet and continue to meet the following requirements:

(a) ((Be certified)) Verification by a local school district that the person seeking a school bus driver authorization:

(i) Is physically able to maneuver and control a school bus under all driving conditions; and

(ii) Is physically able to use all hand/or foot operated controls and equipment found on state minimum specified school buses; and

(iii) Is physically able to perform daily routine school bus vehicle safety inspections and necessary emergency roadside services; and

(iv) Has sufficient strength and agility to move about in a school bus as required to provide assistance to students in evacuating the bus. The driver must be able to move from a seated position in a sixty-five passenger school bus, or the largest school bus the driver will be operating, to the emergency door, open the emergency door, and exit the bus through the emergency door, all within twenty-five seconds.

(b) Provide ((certification)) verification of passing a ((physical)) medical examination every twenty-four months in accordance with the standards established in 49 C.F.R. 391.41 through 391.49, of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. School bus drivers must continue to meet these ((physical)) medical examination requirements during the time between examinations. This requirement does not prevent a school district from requesting a more frequent examination.

(c) Satisfactorily complete a comprehensive school bus driver training course and each year thereafter, satisfactorily complete a school bus driver in-service training course.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 99-08-004, 180-20-101, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99; 96-20-042, 180-20-101, filed 9/24/96, effective 10/25/96; 93-08-007, 180-20-101, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-08-004, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99)

WAC 180-20-111   Authorization required -- Duration -- Issuing procedures ((for school bus driver)) -- Temporary authorizations.   (1) Every school bus driver shall meet the requirements for a school bus driver's authorization or temporary school bus driver's authorization issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. An authorization is no longer valid if suspended, lapsed, or revoked.

(2) A school bus driver's authorization shall continue in effect from year to year as long as the person continues to meet the requirements of this chapter or until the authorization lapses or is suspended or revoked.

(3) School bus driver authorizations shall be issued by the superintendent of public instruction upon request by an authorized representative of the employing school district ((subject to compliance with the following provisions: (2))). The employing school district shall forward to the superintendent of public instruction an application for a school bus driver authorization prior to issuance.

(4) The following verifications relating to the applicant must be provided by the employing school district:

(a) Verification by a ((qualified training)) school bus driver instructor of successful completion of the school bus driver training course((,)) as ((defined in)) required by this chapter.

(b) Verification ((by the employing school district)) that it has on file a ((physical)) medical health certification ((or statement)) as required by this chapter.

(c) Verification ((by the employing school district)) that it has on file a current five-year complete driver's abstract, including departmental actions, of the applicant's employment and nonemployment driving record issued by the department of licensing verifying compliance with all provisions of this chapter. The issue date of this abstract must be within sixty calendar days of the date the application is being submitted for authorization.

(d) Verification that the applicant has a current and valid first aid card or equivalent.

(e) Verification ((by the employing school district)) that it has on file a disclosure statement in compliance with preemployment inquiry regulations in WAC 162-12-140, signed by the applicant, specifying all convictions which relate to fitness to perform the job of a school bus driver under WAC 180-20-101 and all crimes against children or other persons, that meets the requirements of RCW 43.43.834(2).

(f) Verification that ((the school district)) it has on file the results of a criminal record check as required under chapter 28A.400 RCW and that such results establish that the applicant has not committed any offense which constitutes grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking an authorization under this chapter.

(g) Verification ((by the school district)) that it has on file an applicant's disclosure of all serious behavioral problems which explains the nature of all such problems and/or conditions, a listing of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, or other health care practitioners of any kind or hospitals, clinics, or other facilities who have examined and/or treated the applicant for such problems and/or conditions and dates of examinations, therapy, or treatment and the school district has determined that any reported serious behavioral problem does not endanger the education welfare or personal safety of students, teachers, bus drivers, or other colleagues.

(h) Verification ((by the employing school district)) that the applicant complies with all of the requirements for school bus drivers set forth in this chapter.

(((3))) (5)(a) Upon approval of an application, the superintendent of public instruction shall issue a notice of school bus driver authorization to the employing school district.

(((4))) (b) Subsequent authorizations for an individual driver with new or additional employing school districts must be issued from the superintendent of public instruction to such districts prior to the operation of any motor vehicle for the transportation of children.

(((5))) (6) On or before August 15 of each year, the superintendent of public instruction will provide each school district with a list of authorized drivers and their status.

(7) A temporary authorization may be issued by an educational service district superintendent upon application by an authorized representative of the employing school district subject to compliance with the following provisions:

(a) Issuing procedure.

(i) Application for a temporary authorization must be approved by an authorized representative of the employing school district, verified by said school official that the applicant meets the qualification requirements set forth in WAC 180-20-101 (except for a course in first aid and/or the results of a requested criminal record check), and further verified by a school bus driver instructor that the applicant has satisfactorily completed the school bus driver training course, as defined in this chapter. The application shall be submitted to the educational service district superintendent for approval.

(ii) Upon approval of the application by the educational service district superintendent, the temporary authorization will be transmitted to the employing school district.

(b) Effective period. The temporary authorization shall be valid for a period of sixty calendar days and shall be nonrenewable: Provided, That the issuing educational service district superintendent may extend such period for a reasonable number of days when extenuating circumstances exist.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 99-08-004, 180-20-111, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99; 96-20-042, 180-20-111, filed 9/24/96, effective 10/25/96; 93-08-007, 180-20-111, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-08-004, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99)

WAC 180-20-120   Discipline -- Grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of authorization -- Emergency suspension -- Appeals -- Adjudicative proceedings.   (1) A request for an authorization may be denied or an authorization issued under this chapter may be suspended((,)) or revoked for failure to meet any of the minimum requirements set forth in WAC 180-20-101, established by a preponderance of the evidence.

(2) Conduct, which by a preponderance of the evidence, amounts to a serious behavioral problem which endangers the educational welfare or personal safety of students, teachers, bus drivers, or other colleagues is grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation whether or not the conduct constitutes a crime. If the act constitutes a crime, conviction in a criminal proceeding is not a condition precedent to denial, suspension, or revocation action. Upon such conviction, however, the judgment and sentence is conclusive evidence at the ensuing hearing of the guilt of the authorized driver or applicant of the crime described in the indictment or information, and of the person's violation of the statute on which it is based.

(3)(a) Any person in treatment for alcohol or other drug misuse shall have his or her authorization suspended until successful treatment is satisfactorily completed and the completion is confirmed by a state-approved alcohol or other drug treatment program at which time the authorization will be reinstated.

(b) In all cases of deferred prosecution under chapter 10.05 RCW, the authorization shall be suspended until the court confirms successful completion of the court approved treatment program at which time the authorization will be reinstated.

(4) Emergency suspension. If the superintendent of public instruction finds that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, emergency suspension of an authorization may be ordered pending proceedings for revocation or other action. In such cases, the superintendent of public instruction shall expedite all due process actions as quickly as possible.

(5)(a) Appeals and adjudicative proceedings. Any person desiring to appeal a denial, suspension, or revocation of a school bus driver authorization may do so to the superintendent of public instruction or designee in accordance with the adjudicative proceedings in RCW 34.05.413 through 34.05.494, and the administrative practices and procedures of the superintendent of public instruction in chapter 392-101 WAC.

(b) The superintendent of public instruction may assign the adjudicative proceeding to the office of administrative hearings and may delegate final decision-making authority to the administrative law judge conducting the hearing.

(c) The superintendent of public instruction may appoint a person to review initial orders and to prepare and enter final agency orders in accordance with RCW 34.05.464.

(d) Any person who disagrees with the school district's determination of failure to meet any school bus driver authorization qualifications may request that the school district forward the pertinent records to the superintendent of public instruction. After review or investigation, the superintendent of public instruction shall grant, deny, suspend, or revoke the authorization.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 99-08-004, 180-20-120, filed 3/25/99, effective 4/25/99; 96-20-042, 180-20-120, filed 9/24/96, effective 10/25/96; 93-08-007, 180-20-120, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 93-08-007, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93)

WAC 180-20-135   School bus driver -- Reporting.   (1) Every person authorized under this chapter to operate a motor vehicle to transport children shall, within twenty calendar days, notify his or her employer in writing of the filing of any criminal charge involving conduct not meeting the standards in WAC 180-20-101(1). The authorized driver shall also notify his or her employer of any disqualifying traffic convictions, or license suspension or revocation orders issued by the department of licensing. In cases where the employer is providing transportation services through a contract with the school district, the contractor shall immediately notify the school district superintendent or designee.

(2) The notification in writing shall identify the name of the authorized driver, his or her authorization number, the court in which the action is commenced, and the case number assigned to the action.

(3) The failure of an authorized driver to comply with the provisions of this section is an act of unprofessional conduct and constitutes grounds for authorization suspension or revocation by the superintendent of public instruction.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.160.210. 93-08-007, 180-20-135, filed 3/24/93, effective 4/24/93.]


REPEALER

     The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
WAC 180-20-030 Purpose and application.
WAC 180-20-034 Definitions.
WAC 180-20-090 Authorization required.
WAC 180-20-095 Duration of authorization.
WAC 180-20-115 Issuing procedures for temporary school bus driver authorization -- Effective period.
WAC 180-20-123 Applicability of chapter to off-duty hours.
WAC 180-20-125 Discipline -- Emergency suspension.
WAC 180-20-130 Discipline -- Appeals -- Adjudicative proceedings.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office