Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gary L. Schnellert


The purpose of this study was to review the history of North Dakota K-12 transportation funding system, identify how school districts are reimbursed for transportation expenses, and compare this information with fourteen other state transportation funding systems. North Dakota utilizes a block grant structure that has been in place since 1972 and has remained unchanged except for reimbursement factors used in the mileage and rider statistics collected at the state level. Despite the need for alternative structures that promote efficiency and actual costs, the system remains in its current block grant format.

Each of the 50 states in the United States possess a K-12 transportation structure that coexists with the general state funding formula or is part of the general state budget formula. The funding formulas fall into four basic types of transportation funding. Each structure is reviewed and compared based on the strengths and weaknesses of each method. The choice of structure utilized by each state depends on initiatives regarding transportation funding created by individual state legislatures. As a result, states rely on legislative interpretation and action in designing and revising transportation funding methods.

The study utilizes a multiple regression statistical analysis to generate expected costs for district transportation services provided by North Dakota school districts. The analysis displays the cost/reimbursement ratios present with the current funding system compared with the ratios found with the Expected Cost statistical model. The statistical model promotes the concept of transportation efficiency and better reflecting the actual costs consumed by the school district.