Cape Cod Collaborative

Out of District Special Needs Student Transportaton

The Cost Sharing Metric: Out-of-District Special Needs Student Transportation

The Cape Cod Collaborative provides out-of-district Special needs student transportation to many Cape & Islands school districts.  Throughout the State there is a range in the complexity of the metrics used by collaboratives to calculate transportation costs that are billed-back to participating districts.  The complexity of the metric chosen by each collaborative is largely determined by the participating districts' expressed desires/needs to determine near absolute costs (note: there is no calculation/system that can provide an absolute cost) of each child's transportation within a shared system of delivery.  In other words, the collective desire of districts to isolate and then cull out the near absolute cost of each single student from a shared ride determines the complexity of the metric utilized.

While many other collaboratives have opted for a simplified standardized rate, the stated desire of the majority of participating Cape Cod Collaborative districts is to have an exacting accountability of near absolute costs for each transported student.  In order to achieve this calculation objective, the metric required to compute each individual student's transportation cost is complex.

Why so complex? Costs for these services are shared among the participating districts, and are based on actual route costs, including: the vehicle, fuel, driver and monitor labor, maintenance, supervision and overhead.  The formula/metric prorates these costs, amoung students who actually ride each route, based on the relative one-way mileage of each student from their home to the program.  The Collaborative collects individual student costs and summarizes them by district to for the basis for monthly invoices.  Further complicating the metric needed for the demanded accuracy is the variability of service as these students frequently start and stop, move and restart, throughout the school year.

In addition, the McKinney-Vento students (homeless population), who also utilize/share out out-of-district transportation services, tend to move between various Cape communities on a regular basis.  They also require an accommodation in the metric in order to meet the demand/need for isolating the near absolute individual cost for every participating student within the shared delivery system, then splitting it equally between the two districts legally responsible for that student.