ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: Local and State School Bus Bid and Purchase

Administrative Letter: 1
Policy Code: EEAEB
To: Public School Administrators, Business Managers, Transportation Directors, and School Bus Vendors
Date: 12/09/2022
Subject: Local and State School Bus Bid and Purchase

To assist and support school administrative units (SAUs) in their work to purchase school buses, the Maine Department of Education is providing clarification concerning the process to bid and purchase school buses.

This administrative letter replaces Administrative Letter #24 (2019). Administrative Letter #24 is no longer in effect and does not reflect the position of the Department of Education.

For a school bus purchase to be eligible for State subsidy, per 20-A M.R.S. § 5401(15) the school administrative unit (SAU) must:

(1) purchase the bus from the bidder selected through the State of Maine Division of Procurement school bus bid Request for Quotations (RFQ) for bus Type and capacity, or
(2) upon request, provide to the Department documentation that demonstrates the purchase was the result of a competitive bidding process conducted by the SAU following 20-A M.R.S § 5402 bid procedures or was made in the most economical manner consistent with the welfare and safety of students in accordance with 20-A M.R.S. § 5401(14).

For school buses purchased by a SAU when the SAU is not seeking subsidy, the SAU must still engage in competitive bidding, or make its purchase in the most economical manner, as outlined above.

SAU use of the Maine Department of Education’s School Bus Bid and Purchase System (SBBPS) is voluntary. SAUs are encouraged to contact Robert Susi at with any questions about the SBBPS, transportation programs, or policy questions.