This section contains amendments from May 21, 1996.

37.27  Transportation for elementary and secondary education systems

(a) The requirements of this Part do not apply to public school transportation.

(b) The requirements of this part do not apply to the transportation of school children to and from a private elementary or secondary school, and its school-related activities, if the school is providing transportation service to students with disabilities equivalent to that provided to students without disabilities. The test of equivalence is the same as that provided in Sec. 37.105. If the school does not meet the requirement of this paragraph for exemption from the requirements of this part, it is subject to the requirements of this part for private entities not primarily engaged in transporting people.  
This section restates the statutory exemption from public entity requirements given to public school transportation.  This extension also applies to transportation of pre-school children to Head Start or special education programs which receive Federal assistance.  It also applies to arrangements permitting pre-school children of school bus drivers to ride a school bus or allowing teenage mothers to be transported to day care facilities at a school or along a school bus route so that there mothers may continue to attend school (see H. Rept. 101-485, pt. 1 at 27).  The situation for private schools is more complex.  According to the provision, a private elementary or secondary school's transportation system is exempt from coverage under this rule if all three of the following conditions are met: (1) the school receives Federal financial assistance; (2) the school is subject to section 504; and (3) the school's transportation system provides transportation services to individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair users, equivalent to those provided to individuals without disabilities.  The test of equivalency is the same as that for other private entities, and is described under §37.105.  If the school does not meet all these criteria, then it is subject to the requirements of Part 37 for private entities not primarily engaged in the business of transporting people.

The Department notes that, given the constitutional law on church-state separation, it is likely that church-affiliated private schools do not receive Federal financial assistance.  To the extent that these schools' transportation systems are operated by religious entities or entities controlled by religious organizations, they are not subject to the ADA at all, so this section does not apply to them.