First Round Of Awards Provides Low-Income Schools With 142 New School Buses
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey announced today that 55 school districts and charter schools have received approval for the purchase of 142 diesel and alternative fuel schools buses, totaling $15.9 million.
“Finding new, innovative opportunities to increase much-needed resources for K-12 will continue to be a major focus of my administration,” said Governor Ducey. “The purchase of these school buses will ensure that schoolchildren will be safely transported to and from school and that schools can leverage these dollars or use cost savings from efficiencies to further update their fleets or for other capital needs.”
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. 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. 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. During the two month application period in the early fall, school administrators received four training opportunities, on-demand online training resources and a direct point of contact to receive technical assistance regarding the application process.
To date, the state has received 118 applications from school districts and charter schools, resulting in requests for 362 buses at a cost of $40.4 million. In this first round of awards, 55 completed and verified applications totaling $15.9 million have been approved. These awards represent approximately 47% of the total applications submitted. Staff continue to review the remaining applications and work with the applicants to secure additional documentation. A second round of awards is expected to be announced in the near future.
See the list of applications awarded HERE.
BACKGROUND ON THE SETTLEMENT: In January of 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Volkswagen for violating the Clean Air Act by modifying its vehicles to cheat emissions tests. The suit resulted in a settlement agreement that requires Volkswagen to spend $10 billion to buy back vehicles or compensate vehicle owners and $4.7 billion to offset pollution from the modified cars. Arizona will receive $57 million over the next two years. The plan also includes funding other mission critical projects such as supporting wildland fire crews and equipment for the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Find out more about the plan HERE.