(1) The superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the regional transportation coordinators of the educational service districts, shall establish a minimum number of school bus categories considering the capacity and type of vehicles required by school districts in Washington. The superintendent, in consultation with the regional transportation coordinators of the educational service districts, shall establish competitive specifications for each category of school bus. The categories shall be developed to produce minimum long-range operating costs, including costs of equipment and all costs in operating the vehicles. The competitive specifications shall meet federal motor vehicle safety standards, minimum state specifications as established by rule by the superintendent, and supported options as determined by the superintendent in consultation with the regional transportation coordinators of the educational service districts. The superintendent may solicit and accept price quotes for a rear-engine category school bus that shall be reimbursed at the price of the corresponding front engine category.
(2) After establishing school bus categories and competitive specifications, the superintendent of public instruction shall solicit competitive price quotes for base buses from school bus dealers to be in effect for one year and shall establish a list of all accepted price quotes in each category obtained under this subsection. The superintendent shall also solicit price quotes for optional features and equipment.
(3) The superintendent shall base the level of reimbursement to school districts and educational service districts for school buses on the lowest quote for the base bus in each category. School districts and educational service districts shall be reimbursed for buses purchased only through a lowest-price competitive bid process conducted under RCW 28A.335.190
or through the state bid process established by this section.
(4) Notwithstanding RCW 28A.335.190
, school districts and educational service districts may purchase at the quoted price directly from any dealer who is on the list established under subsection (2) of this section. School districts and educational service districts may make their own selections for school buses, but shall be reimbursed at the rates determined under subsection (3) of this section and RCW 28A.160.200
. District-selected options shall not be reimbursed by the state.
(5) This section does not prohibit school districts or educational service districts from conducting their own competitive bid process.
(6) The superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules under chapter 34.05
RCW to implement this section.
Effective dates—1995 1st sp.s. c 10 §§ 1 and 2: "(1) Section 1 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [June 14, 1995].