Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in In the Matter of Pennsbury School District Transportation Subsidy for 1971-74 Excess Driver Hours Allowance, dated April 28, 1982.
Paul L. Stevens, with him Jeffrey T. Tucker, Curtin and Heefner, for petitioner.
Phillip A. Ayers, Assistant Counsel, with him Michael A. Davis, Chief Counsel, for respondent, Department of Education.
Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 250]
Pennsbury School District (Pennsbury) has filed a petition for review of a final order of the Secretary of Education denying Pennsbury's application for an allowance for excess driver hours for the school years 1971-1972, 1972-1973, and 1973-1974. At oral argument, Pennsbury abandoned its claim for the allowance for 1971-1972.
The excess driver hours allowance was instituted by the State Board of Education in 1972 as a part of the already established annual transportation reimbursement to school districts for their transportation expenses provided by Section 2541 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 25-2541. The new allowance was in relief
[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 251]
of districts whose vehicles were slowed by heavily congested traffic conditions or driver layover time for economy in operation. The conditions upon which the excess driver hours allowance might be granted and the procedures for applying are described at 22 Pa. Code § 4-651(4), later recodified at 22 Pa. Code § 23.35(b)(4) as follows:
When heavily congested traffic conditions or driver layover time for economy in operation requires . . . a greater number of driver hours than the quotient of the total annual mileage for approved contracted transportation to and from school divided by 15 miles, the applicant district may qualify for an additional allowance for excess driver hours subject to approval by the Department of Education. School districts requesting an allowance for excess driver hours shall submit with their request for reimbursement a written justification and supporting evidence of entitlement for such allowance to the Department of Education for review, evaluation and approval of the number of excess hours allowable for reimbursement purposes, if any.
The additional amount, if any, allowable for reimbursement purposes on account of approved excess driver hours shall be computed by multiplying the number of excess hours approved by the department times $3.00
It will be noticed that the regulation describes the excess driver hours allowance as "an additional allowance" to the reimbursements of transportation costs paid school districts; that requests for the allowance were to be submitted with the usual request for reimbursement; that written justification and evidence of entitlement were ...