Arizona students to benefit from school buses

Governor Doug Ducey recently announced that more than 140 diesel and alternative fuel school buses will be awarded to school districts and charter schools throughout the state.

Benefitting 55 school districts and charter schools with $15.9 million in new buses, the plan doesn’t stop there.

“In June 2018, Governor Ducey released a $38 million plan to purchase an estimated 280 school buses from settlement funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust,” according to a statement from the Governor’s office.

More than 100 applications have been submitted to the state and 55 have been approved so far.

The approved applicants who will receive new buses can be found here.

“As the fastest growing School District in Maricopa County and the 5th fastest growing city in the U.S., I am extremely grateful to Governor Ducey looking for innovative funding opportunities to provide safe and efficient transportation for students,” Dr. Kristi Sandvik, Superintendent of Buckeye Elementary School District, said.

She added, “Buses cost approximately $175,000.  These new dollars combined with local dollars will help Buckeye Elementary be able to replace an aging fleet at lower costs which aligns with one of our district’s goals of maintaining financial efficiencies.”

A research report from the Urban Institute explained that “for many working parents or for those who do not have access to a reliable form of transportation, it could be a challenge to consistently get students to school on time.”

The initiative to provide more school buses may ease the commute to and from school for students and families and contribute to students’ academic success.

“The Arizona Lower-Emissions School Bus Program provides funding to 60% free and reduced lunch school districts, charters and the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind to replace aged and high mileage school buses,” according to the press release. “Public schools with a school bus older than 15 years and over 100,000 miles were eligible for a diesel or alternative fuel replacement bus.”

School administrators received “training opportunities, on-demand online training resources and a direct point of contact to receive technical assistance regarding the application process during the application period.

Sierra Ciaramella

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