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Connect with colleagues in Richmond, VA
Join your colleagues for the premier annual industry event, specifically designed to provide education and training as well as opportunities to engage with thought leaders in the industry. Register today for NAPT's 41St Annual Summit: Engage. Explore. Empower!

Here's what you can expect this year:
  • Industry leaders addressing the latest trends critical to your day-to-day operations
  • Nationally-recognized speakers ready to inspire personal and professional greatness
  • Access to the industry's largest Trade Show
  • Exclusive place to earn credits towards national certification through Professional Development Series courses
  • Connect with peers from across the country and around the world
Take a look at this year's schedule and session topics.

Plan your travel early. Visit the website for hotel and travel options to and around Richmond, VA.

We look forward to seeing you in Richmond, VA this November.

NAPT member benefit: multiple $50,000 grants available through Zonar Systems
The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and technology innovator Zonar Systems again partnered to offer 2015 grants for up to $50,000 in the latest school bus security/safety/efficiency equipment. Grants will be awarded to school districts in the U.S. and Canada that submit proposals for utilizing Zonar's widely acclaimed Electronic Fleet Management Solutions, including their Electronic Vehicle Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) system, Global Position System (GPS), Real Time Engine Diagnostics Reporting (J3), Student Tracking (Z Pass), and Ground Traffic Control (GTC) web based software for pupil transportation services.

Beginning this year, the Grant has been named the "Don Carnahan Memorial Grant" in recognition of Don's lifelong contributions to the student transportation industry. Don Carnahan dedicated 45 years to his career in the education and pupil transportation industry including school district administration, department of education administration and private sector employment partnering with education institutions. Don joined Zonar in 2003 and spent 11 years in a leadership role within Zonar. He was also a two term President of NAPT.

Download the grant application details here.

School districts applying for and receiving the grants will be notified on a rolling basis, allowing them to implement the systems in advance of the 2015-16 school year if they so choose. Recipients will also be recognized in November at the NAPT Summit: Engage. Explore. Empower. in Richmond, VA.

Grants are only open to NAPT members in good standing. Please contact NAPT headquarters at 800.989.NAPT (6278) to verify or renew your membership, or join online today! Applications will be accepted in NAPT headquarters through October 12, 2015. Zonar will evaluate the applications and make final decisions on an ongoing basis.

Committed to the safe, efficient transportation of students to and from school each day, NAPT is pleased to offer this benefit to members. "With limited budgets, school districts are often challenged when it comes to acquiring leading-edge technology," stated NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin. "Together, NAPT and Zonar are working to help districts across North America enhance student safety, drive efficiency, save real dollars, and improve management with real time tools for pupil transportation systems."

Details on the requirements and application process are at and information about Zonar products and services at

Goal two of NAPT's new Strategic Plan
Over the past two weeks we've highlighted NAPT's new Strategic Plan. Last week we outlined Goal One. Our second goal is to: Provide school transportation professionals with resources designed to improve their communication and decision-making capabilities. We believe the first and most important step towards this goal is to finish the Data Driven Decision-making (3D) project. We will allocate resources to get this project done in NAPT FY 2015-2016, which means no later than June 30 of next year. If you haven't already, visit NAPT's 3D website — — and register your school system. It's easy. And if you download a data worksheet and compile the necessary information then enter your information in the system, you will instantly receive 5 FREE Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) about your operation.

Collecting data will enable our 501 (c) (3) affiliate, the NAPT Foundation, Inc., to do research, not only on its own but in collaboration with our friends and partners in the American School Bus Council (ASBC). The Foundation's mission is to provide resources to help inform local communities about the benefits of school bus transportation and provide additional training and educational opportunities for pupil transportation professionals.

Stay tuned next week for our third Strategic Plan goal. If you have any questions regarding this exciting initiative, please don't hesitate to contact your Region Director or NAPT headquarters at 800.989.6278.

NAPT Elections and Nominations Information
IMPORTANT UPDATE: In a previous issue of the Dispatch we mistakenly reported that the Director — Region 1 position would be up for election this year. This position is not open in 2015 and we sincerely apologize for any confusion.

During NAPT's Annual Summit this November, elections will be held for the following:
  • President-Elect
  • Director — Region 3
  • Affiliate Member Director
To see who currently holds these positions and what states each Region covers, click here.

Pursuant to the Article IV, Section 4.21 of the NAPT By-laws: "Any person who wishes to be a candidate for…President-elect or regional director must be an active individual member as defined in Section 2.11 (1) and have completed two years as a member in good standing before he/she becomes eligible to run for the Board of Directors. Any person who wishes to be the Affiliate Member Director must be an affiliate member as defined in Article II, Section 2.12 and have completed two years as a member in good standing before he/she becomes eligible to run for the Board of Directors. An affiliate member is not eligible to be President, President-elect or a regional director."
  • Anyone interested in running for President-elect must be nominated by two Individual-Active members. This seat may not be held by an Affiliate Member (also called a Business Partner Individual member)
    • President-elect is selected by vote of all Individual — Active members
  • Anyone interested in running for the Director – Region 3 position must be nominated by a minimum of two Individual-Active members from Region 3 of the association.
    • Regional directors are selected by vote of only those active members whose mailing address is within that specific region.
  • Anyone interested in running for Affiliate Member Director must be nominated by two Affiliate members (also called Business Partner Individual members)
    • Affiliate Member Director is selected by vote of all Affiliate (Business Partner Individual) members.
ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUESTS — Any NAPT member seeking to vote by absentee ballot must send a written request for a ballot to NAPT headquarters. All requests must be received no later than the close of business on Friday, Sept. 25.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS MAILED TO VOTERS — Official absentee ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters no later than Friday, Oct. 9.

ABSENTEE BALLOT RETURN — All absentee ballots must be received at NAPT headquarters no later than Friday, Oct. 30.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 10. Elections will be held in Richmond, VA on the Trade Show floor from 10am – 12pm.

Member webinar archives
NAPT has offered a number of interesting member webinars throughout 2015. Remember, if you missed any of our webinars, or want to listen again, they are all recorded and available in the 'Member Resources' area of the Members' Only section of the website. Log-in today.

Future Webinars
September 30: Preparing Your Operation for Winter Register now!
October 28: Inside Washington: How and Why Democracy Begets Bureaucracy Register now!

Connect with NAPT
Let NAPT help you stay in touch with colleagues and up-to-date on industry news and interesting stories from around the nation.

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    More Uber than bus: Salem, Oregon's new transit service
    KBSX Radio
    What if the bus came when you called it? You have to plan ahead a little, but that's the idea with a re-booted bus service in Salem, Oregon. Salem-Keizer is trying to navigate a tough area for transit. A lot of people live on the city's west side, but it's hard for buses to get there. Neighborhoods are on steep hills with winding streets. The area has a lot of cul-de-sacs, and few major roadways.
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    After years of cuts, cities and states are hiring again
    The Pew Charitable Trusts
    Public employment, long seen as a secure job with good benefits, took a series of hits during the recession, with state and local governments implementing hiring freezes and layoffs. But job-seekers can take solace: Many states and localities are now hiring, buoyed by an improving economy and better-than-expected revenue.
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    How government employment costs are growing
    Employee benefit costs have garnered much attention from governments looking to rein in spending. Updated Labor Department data published Friday shows just how much they've increased nationally in recent years. The latest employment cost index estimates for state and local government workers indicate benefit costs increased 0.8 percent in the second quarter of this year. Over the 12-month period ending in June, benefit expenses have climbed 2.7 percent — nearly double the rate of the private sector.
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    As economy improves, K-12 funding expansions top state priorities
    By: Archita Datta Majumdar
    K-12 public education is funded by federal, state and local governments in the United States. While the federal government contributes about 10 percent to the total amount, local taxes make up for the bulk of the fund, about 40-50 percent. The Great Recession resulted in significant budget cuts across the country. However, as the economy is bouncing back, administrators, parents and teachers alike have run out of patience and are pushing for aggressive funding expansion.
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    New York's children feel the heat on school buses lacking A/C
    Crain's New York Business
    A heat wave blanketing the city raised concerns among summer-school administrators and parents on Wednesday. Many students face long commutes on buses that either lack air conditioning or have insufficient cooling systems. "Given that the temperature is expected to rise to at least 95 degrees today, there will be buses that will be extremely hot," warned a memo sent to parents of children at the Upper East Side's Gillen Brewer School, which teaches children with disabilities. Children may be on a bus without air conditioning, and sometimes for as long as a two-hour slog through thick city traffic.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Study: Race to the Top initiative spurs US education policy reform (
    Seat belts, student behavior discussed at NHTSA meeting (School Bus Fleet)
    Report suggests US children left behind in economic recovery (The Associated Press via The Dallas Morning News)
    Governors not waiting for transportation help (The Associated Press via The Columbian)
    This is where your child is most likely to get suspended from school (The Washington Post)

    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

    Transportation communicating is about more than cars and highways
    Talking Transportation
    Even as the price of fuel remains low and national vehicle miles traveled grows on our nation's highways, there is no doubt that bicycling — whether competitively or recreationally — is growing in popularity. Most states have policies and programs in place to support bicycling programs and infrastructure. In addition, state transportation departments tend to have employees who bike regularly. In many states the chief engineers and transportation CEOs regularly cycle and serve as the strongest advocates for bicycling.
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    Arne Duncan on accountability in ESEA reauthorization
    Education Week
    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may only have eighteen months left in office — but they're critical months when it comes to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The House and Senate each passed bills that take aim at the Obama administration's K-12 priorities when it comes to teacher evaluation, standards, and more. While the Republican-backed House bill was somewhat of a lost cause, the administration couldn't secure much of its ask-list in the Senate bill — particularly when it came to beefing up accountability — before it passed with big partisan support.
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    New York MTA testing warning system for turning buses
    New York Daily News
    Improved vision may be coming to bus drivers in the city's crusade against crashes. The MTA is evaluating technology that would give drivers an extra pair of bionic eyes and an alert system for pedestrians and bicyclists, warning them when a bus is turning into their path. Overall, the new gizmos are trying to bring order and safety to notoriously congested streets. Officials say fine-tuning is needed, such as making sure the alarms don't distract the driver and add to noise pollution. But they seem ready to embrace the technology.
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    Poverty affects education — and our systems perpetuate it
    The Huffington Post (commentary)
    It's hard to argue that poverty does not affect education. It's hard to argue that children who come from homes where they may be wanting — wanting for food, for time, or for resources — don't enter the school door with a little less than others. And it's hard to argue that children living in poverty and attending schools that are underfunded, under resourced, and understaffed are not literally up against the system.
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    The learning curve: Getting ahead by starting late
    Voice of San Diego
    A few months back, Kelly Abbott, a friend of VOSD, stopped by the office. He’d just heard Sunset View, the Point Loma elementary school his son attends, was thinking of starting the school day earlier next year. That sort of bummed him out. For years, Sunset View has started after 9 a.m., later than most schools (some start as early as 7:25 a.m., though schedules vary considerably). The late start time has allowed parents at Sunset View to do fun stuff, Kelly said, like meet for a morning running group. That helped parents get to know one another and form bonds — you know, community and everything.
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    Survey: Expect education to be big issue in 2016 presidential campaign
    What's the most important issue facing the country? As usual, it's the economy and jobs, according to the latest annual survey from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. But education is the second issue on the minds of Americans who have been bombarded over the past year with news about Common Core curriculum standards, soaring student debt and standardized test opt-out movements in schools across the country.
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    Miss an issue of the NAPT Dispatch? Click here to visit the NAPT Dispatch archive page.

    State set to inspect Kansas school buses as new school year approaches
    It's a sure sign the school year is about to begin. Each year, Kansas State troopers converge on the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools garage, conducting inspections on the 190 school buses that will transport area students. They're said to be the safest automobiles on the road. That's what one Kansas State trooper told FOX 4 News on Thursday night. KCK school district leaders say buses have to pass a strict examination before they're allowed to begin the school year. Just as teachers test their students, school district leaders put their fleet of buses under the microscope each July, using the guidance of state troopers as inspectors.
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    Toyota inks deal for Telenav in-car navigation, drives away from Google and Apple
    Earlier this year, Toyota spelledout what many car companies were thinking: It would rather have its own software inside its cars than software from Apple and Google. Recently, it took another step to box out the mobile giants. The Japanese carmaker signed a deal with two auto tech companies, Telenav and UIEvolution, to equip some 2016 models with a dashboard navigation system linked to mobile phones. It works with both iOS and Android. But, according to the software partners, the system doesn't wrest control from Toyota, a rising concern in the auto industry as Apple and Google promote their connected dashboards.
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    Chinese carmaker testing car-to-car communications
    MIT Technology Review
    One of China's leading carmakers is testing technology that promises to prevent accidents and ease congestion by allowing vehicles as well as traffic signals to communicate wirelessly. Although no standard for the technology has emerged in China yet, representatives at the company say it could introduce some form of car-to-car communications in 2018, ahead of many U.S. automakers.
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    Race to the top: The charge of the elitist parent
    By: Brian Stack
    You see them all the time, but maybe you have never noticed that they are there. I often refer to them as the "elitist parents." Elitist parents firmly believe that their job is to keep their children's resumes so packed that Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth will be fighting over the right to make them a part of their school one day. This twisted scenario is like a bad American dream, one that I don't want to have any part of.
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    School funding fight back in hands of Washington state's Supreme Court
    Education Week
    After a tumultuous special legislative session this year that saw a boost for K-12 spending, Washington state officials are telling the state's highest court: Stop holding us in contempt. But advocates who believe lawmakers are still falling short are instead telling the court to either levy sanctions or walk away. If the court ends up agreeing with those advocates, sanctions against the state could follow, including a ban on spending state funds on budget areas other than public education.
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    Talk to kids about getting to school safely
    The Shreveport Times
    It may seem like your kids just rushed out of school and into summer vacation, but it's less than two weeks until they will be back in the classroom for another school year. And while you're sure to have plenty of errands to check off — clothes and school supplies don't buy themselves, after all — it's vital to add another item to the list. The safety talk. That's because there are potential dangers whether your child walks or bikes to school, rides the bus or drives his or her own vehicle.
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    Transporting Children with Disabilities, 5th Edition, by Dr. Linda F. Bluth, is available for purchase. NAPT members may purchase the Handbook for $19.99, plus shipping. The nonmember rate is $29.99, plus shipping.

    To order your copy, please email NAPT Member Services Specialist, Brianne Peck at today! To learn more about the new Certification in Special Needs Transportation (CSNT) click here.

    Transporting Children with Disabilities, 5th Edition contains new and updated information, including useful definitions of transportation and related special education terms as well as characteristics of children with special needs and special considerations for transporting children with special needs. This popular publication also explains the legal basis for special needs transportation in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and contains information about new Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulations.


    NAPT Dispatch

    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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    Hailey Golden, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630  
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