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Welcome to the California Association of School Transportation Officials "CASTO" webpage. Here you will be able to sign up, renew, or update your membership, register for upcoming events and receive important information in regards to California's School Pupil Transportation Industry.
Passing of Al Sauvadon
School Bus Drivers Honored by California Highway Patrol
By Merari Acevedo-Vigo - School Transportation News
May 18, 2023
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and state education officials recently named the two school bus drivers of the year.
Combined, the drivers have 61 years of experience driving schoolchildren: Thirty-six year veteran driver Tamara Conley of Los Angeles Unified School District, representing Southern California, and 25-year veteran Robert Sorber of Miller Creek School District in San Rafael, California, for the state’s northern region.
The School Bus Driver of the Year award given by CHP is awarded to hard-working and dedicated candidates that contribute to the school’s bus industry for the safe transportation of students in California.
Conley was presented with the award on May 9.
“She is an inspiration and represents how students are supported all day long,” a statement from the LAUSD adds.
Through the district’s statement, many coworkers, board members and staff expressed their gratitude toward Conley and their excitement that she received a well-deserved honor.
“I am grateful to Ms. Tamara Conley for her dedication and servant leadership,” said LAUSD Director of Transportation Daniel Kang. “She is the first district employee whom some of our children see when they go to school and the last when they are dropped off. Ms. Conley represents the best of us.”
Conley has had a perfect attendance record for the past 15 years. She says she loves what she does and said that she’s got a couple more years left until she retires.
Meanwhile, 25-year veteran Robert Sorber of Miller Creek School District received his award last month. He is credited with driving about 225,000 accident-free miles over his career, according to CHP.
The winners each year are selected by a committee of representatives from CHP, the California Department of Education, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the California Association of School Transportation Officials.
Home to School Transportation Reimbursement Program
From the Office of School Transportation...
Home-to-School (HTS) Transportation Reimbursement was implemented by Assembly Bill (AB) 181 (Chapter 52, Statutes of 2022) and amended by AB 185 (Chapter 571, Statutes of 2022). It provides reimbursement funding for school districts and county office of education based on the prior year eligible transportation expenditures and prior year Local Control Funding Formula transportation related add-on funding.
The California Department of Education has created a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) website that will assist in the clarification of inquiries the department has received from the industry.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please email your Transportation Programs Consultant.
Local Chapter Events
Are you in need of in-service training? Looking for more information regarding local School Bus training events? Head over to our Chapter Events Page to see what's going on in your area.
Presidents Message: Winter 2023
Dear Members of the California Association of School Transportation Officials,As winter envelops our beautiful state and we gather to reflect on the past year and look forward to the opportunities that the future holds, I find it necessary to share some somber news. We have recently bid farewell to one of our cherished founding fathers, Mr. Al Sauvadon. His profound contributions to our organization and his unwavering commitment to school transportation will be remembered and celebrated with deep respect and gratitude.
Al's legacy is woven into the very fabric of our association. He dedicated his time, knowledge, and passion to advance school transportation in California. His work and influence will continue to guide and inspire us as we strive for excellence in our field. As we mourn his passing, let us also honor his memory by continuing to work towards the safety and well-being of the students we serve.
On a brighter note, I want to remind you of the upcoming 56th Annual State Conference, scheduled for February 24-26, 2024, in Garden Grove, California. However, please note that this year, conference space is limited. To ensure your participation, registrations must be paid in full prior to attending the conference.
This conference represents an invaluable opportunity for us to come together, share insights, and learn from one another. It's a time to celebrate our achievements and collaboratively tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
I strongly encourage each of you to register and make payment promptly for this conference. Your timely participation and engagement are vital in ensuring the success of this event and the continued progress of our association. It is through these gatherings that we build connections, exchange best practices, and strengthen our collective knowledge.
As we come together in Garden Grove, let us pay tribute not only to our shared past but also to the legacy of individuals like Al Sauvadon who helped shape our organization. Their influence continues to inspire us, reminding us of the importance of our mission and the impact we can make.
In closing, I extend my gratitude to each one of you for your dedication and unwavering commitment to our cause. It's through your efforts that we continue to advance and provide safe, reliable transportation for the students of California. I look forward to seeing you all at the 56th Annual State Conference as we work together to create a brighter, safer future for our students.
Wishing you a warm and peaceful winter season.
Mike Sawyer | President
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CASTO's Official Address
PO Box 348120
Sacramento, CA 95834
CASTO 2023 Safety Poster Contest Winner
To: CASTO State Board of Directors
From: David Neben
Memo: State Legislative and Budget Update
Dear President Thomas and CASTO Board of Directors,
The following memorandum contains informational updates on legislation and budget activities at the state Legislature. Please do not hesitate to contact myself or my staff with questions or concerns related to the material.
The Governor has published his 2023 Budget proposal. As of this quarter’s meeting of the State Board of Directors, we are still awaiting the publication of trailer bill language details to accompany the fiscal appropriations details.
Overall State of the Economy
The Governor’s Budget assumes the state is facing a significant decline in revenue growth over the next couple of fiscal years, beginning with the current year 2022-23. While this is not necessarily a recession, it means that some financial commitments from prior years will have to be either reduced or delayed in order to continue funding statutory ongoing programs like the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
Electric School Bus Replacement
In discussions with senior staff from the Department of Finance, it was determined that the program to provide $1.5 billion for electric school bus replacement would remain uncut. Approximately $300 million in grant funding will still be available each year during the five-year allocation period.
The 2022 Budget Act approved an increase in HTST funding up to 60% of a local educational agency’s costs of providing HTST services, according to SACS code function 3600. This equates to more than $600 million in additional ongoing funding for school transportation, and a total of $1.1 billion overall. The Department of Finance staff has indicated that this program will also remain untouched in determining where to find financial relief for the state budget.
The Legislature convened the 2023-24 legislative session on January 4, 2022, introducing a total of 40 new elected officials to the Assembly and Senate. The deadline for all legislators to introduce legislation for the first year of the session is February 17, 2023.
SB 88 (Skinner) – Pupil Transportation: School Pupil Activity Bus: Drivers
Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced SB 88. While the bill is still in “spot-bill” form and only contains legislative intent language, the general idea of the bill presents potential issues for school bus drivers and alleviating the current staffing crisis.
Action: We recommend CASTO maintain a neutral position on this bill until additional amendments have been published.