17:493.1      Filling route vacancies

 A. (1)(a) Whenever a school bus operator is needed to drive a new route or a route vacated by a previous operator, the school bus operator who is tenured and has acquired the greatest seniority shall be offered the opportunity to and may change from driving his route to the vacant route before another operator is selected.

 (b) If the tenured bus operator with the greatest seniority chooses not to change to the vacant route, the route shall then be offered in order of seniority to a school bus operator who has acquired tenure.

 (c) If no tenured operator chooses to change to the vacant route, the route shall then be offered to a fulltime probationary bus operator.

 (d) If no regular bus operator, tenured or probationary, chooses to change to the vacant route, then a substitute bus operator shall be selected for the position from a list of approved substitute school bus operators.

 (2) If a regular bus operator chooses to change routes as provided in this Section, then his vacant route shall be filled using the process described in this Subsection.

 B. A substitute operator shall not be used to fill a route vacancy except as provided in R.S. 17:500(C)(2)(b) and (c).

 C. Only if a city or parish school board is required, in filling a vacant route pursuant to Subsection A of this Section, to bear an increase in unreimbursed costs for nonpassenger miles over those attributable to the previous operator who vacated the route, may a school system select an operator to fill the vacant route on a different basis.

 D. Notwithstanding any provision of this Section to the contrary, whenever a school bus operator owning his own bus retires, a route shall be offered first to any person meeting the requirements of the school board who is willing to acquire the bus of the retiring operator by a method which guarantees that the driver receives full appraised value for his bus using regularly accepted appraisal methods to determine fair market value. The provisions of this Subsection shall be applicable only when the bus owned by the retiring operator has been manufactured within a period of five years immediately prior to the operator's retirement and the operator is retiring due to a documented physical disability.

Added by Acts 1986, No. 117, §1. Amended by Acts 1992, No. 180, §1; Acts 1993, No. 826, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 948, §1; Acts 1997, No. 551, §1, eff. July 1, 1997.