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.
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: Spring 2024
As we step into the vibrant season of spring, I am delighted to announce the much-anticipated upcoming events in our calendar—the CASTO Roadeo competitions! These events celebrate the skill, dedication, and professionalism of our school transportation community.
Northern Sectional Roadeo
Southern Sectional Roadeo
This year, we have some exciting news! In our commitment to further elevate these events and encourage participation from all corners of our community, the Roadeo Committee proposed an idea to the executive board. After careful consideration, we are thrilled to announce that the Roadeos will be free of charge for all contestants!
We believe that by eliminating contestant fees for this year, we can foster greater inclusivity and enthusiasm among our members. It is our hope that this gesture will not only make participation more accessible but also reinforce the spirit of camaraderie and collaboration within our association.
Please visit the Roadeo page for more information and registration details.
Additionally, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who made our recent Annual State Conference at the Delta by Marriott in Garden Grove a resounding success. The event was completely sold out, and it was evident that everyone learned a great deal, networked effectively, and enjoyed themselves immensely.
A huge thank you goes out to the Conference Committee, including Dano Rybar-Contracts & Event Planning, Neftali Perez Lopez-Programs Chair, Donna King-Vendor Chair, Pam McDonald-Programs Co-Chair, Christina Celeste-Russo, Registration Chair, and the rest of the Executive Board, for their tireless efforts in providing such a successful event.
Special recognition is also due to Chapter 2 for their outstanding decorations at the banquet dinner, and to Cindy Casarez for arranging the photo booth, adding a touch of fun and memories to the event.
Let us continue to build upon the momentum of our recent achievements as we look forward to the upcoming Roadeo events.
Mike Sawyer | President
Why Should You Be a CASTO Member?
This document will aid you with answering the question..."Why should I be a CASTO Member?"
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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.