California Association of School Transportation Officials

Annual  State Conference registration is open!  Additional information can be found on the Annual State Conference webpage.

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.

Upcoming events

Industry News

Tragic News involving two CASTO members...
December 22, 2022

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness I write this email on behalf of the entire CASTO family. Matt Sousa and his son Jason passed away in a tragic accident on Monday December 19, 2022. The Past President of Chapter 13 Justin Gregori suffered life threatening injuries trying to assist Matt and his three children who were in a second jeep. Justin is on life-support. Matt's other two children survived. Justin is the Operations Manager and Matt is the Manager of Fleet and Facilities for West County Transportation Agency in Sonoma County. *LATEST UPDATE @ 4:30 p.m.* Life support was removed and Justin gained his angel's wings.

What is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year has turned tragically upside down for these families and their close friends. Please keep their families close in your thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time.

If you find it in your heart and are able to help the family of Matt Sousa please consider donating. There are links below.

Sincerely,

Matthew Thomas

CASTO State President

https://helpahero.com/campaign/sonoma-county-united-caring-for-our-community

https://www.gofundme.com/f/sousa-family-tragedy?qid=849789858b429b829ecce63959bf8579

https://www.gofundme.com/f/kendra-sousa-family?qid=15503a7da927b83f4027dadbc6bf6885

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Justin Gregori's service.
https://youtu.be/_43OxjlyPKQ

Home to School Transportation Reimbursement Program

From the Office of School Transportation...
December 6, 2022

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 youTransportation Programs Consultant.

CDE IB 22-70 (Home to School Transportation Reimbursement Program ) (003).pdf

CASTO Business Management Forum Brings Together California Student Transporters

ByTaylor Hannon-Ekbatani

October 24, 2022

California Association of School Transportation Officials President Matthew Thomas speaking to attendees at the organization's Business Management Forum.California Association of School Transportation Officials President Matthew Thomas speaking to attendees at the organization's Business Management Forum.

The California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO) met in person for the first time in three years.

The three-day Business Management Forum, which took place from Oct. 19 – 21 in Garden Grove, California, included sessions on the new state budget increases for school transportation, transportation of students experiencing homelessness, fleet maintenance, and staff recruitment strategies.

The Exhibitor’s Show and Reception on Oct. 20 showcased the latest in school transportation technology.

During the event, CASTO President Matthew Thomas sat down with School Transportation News to record a live School Transportation Nation podcast. Listen to Thomas speak about the increase in funding and the state mandate to update bell times on Episode 134, published this week, at stnpodcast.com.

The association’s 2023 annual conference takes place Feb. 25-27 in Burbank, California.

https://stnonline.com/news/casto-business-management-forum-brings-together-california-student-transporters/

$.50/Gallon Natural Gas Federal Tax Credit Extension Included in Inflation Reduction Act

October 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act that was recently passed at the Federal level re-authorized the alternative fuel tax credit.  Compressed Natura Gas, Propane and other fuels qualify.  The law allows eligible users to claim the credit retroactively back through 2022, and extends the credit to December 31, 2024.  

The press release from NGVAmerica is attached here.

California Department of Education Virtual Training

CDE IB 20-66 Virtual Training.pdf

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.


Chapter Assignments


Presidents Message

Presidents Message:
Winter 2023

The CASTO Annual State Conference is upon us!

I hope to welcome many of you school transportation professionals to the CASTO annual state conference. This is the first in-person conference since February 2020 right before the pandemic began. The CASTO executive board and many others who worked behind the scenes to help put the conference together look forward to welcoming you, networking with you and having a little fun too. We will kick the conference off with a bowling event on Friday morning. So, get your bowling shoes ready and sign up. We have many breakout sessions planned for bus drivers for the Saturday only special. There’s also something for instructors, dispatchers, supervisors, managers, and directors on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Kevin Bracy will be our keynote speaker for Saturday morning. You can check out his bio on the castoways.org website. This will be the 55th annual conference and the theme for the Saturday evening dinner is “A Night at the CASTO Country Music Awards.” Saturday night will be your chance to lip sync to your favorite country song! The first five folks (or groups up to three people) will have the chance to show CASTO your lip sync talents. Prizes will be awarded to the top three folks. So, pick your song and start practicing. Email Professional Associate Rep Karen Knight at knight_k@auhsd.us to enter. The first five entries via email will be lip syncing for us. The Sunday breakfast we will hold a state board meeting, awards ceremony and installation of executive board member officers for 2023-2024.

I cannot believe two years have gone by so quickly as my presidency comes to a close. I will still be working side by side with your next CASTO State President Mr. Michael Sawyer who is eager to start and has some great ideas and plans.

I’ll close by saying thank you for the privilege of being the State President of such an awesome organization where everyone “bleeds yellow” and is so giving and caring to our most precious cargo in the safest of all 50 states. I’m always proud to say that and you should be proud of California’s school transportation safety record too.

Cordially,

Matthew Thomas | President
California Association of School Transportation Official's


Why Should You Be a CASTO Member?

This document will aid you with answering the question..."Why should I be a CASTO Member?"

Why CASTO.pdf

Looking for a career change? 

Check out our Job Announcements page

CASTO's Official Address

CASTO

PO Box 348120

Sacramento, CA 95834

CASTO 2022 Safety Poster Contest Winner


Andres Rapeta
Orange Glen High School
Escondido, California

Legislative Report

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.

Thank you,

David Neben
CEO, Strategic Education Services
1610 R Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95811
(925) 286-6370

BUDGET UPDATE

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.

Home-to-School Transportation

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.

LEGISLATION

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.

castoways.org | 855.227.8668

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