Arizona approves $8.4 million for new school buses

Jan. 4, 2019
22 low-income districts will be able to acquire 76 diesel or alternative fuel buses.

Twenty-two school districts in Arizona have received state approval to buy 76 diesel and alternative fuel schools buses.

Governor Doug Ducey announced in a news release that the $8.4 million expenditure is the second wave of funding awarded as part of a $38 million plan to provide low-income schools with new school buses.

The Tucson Unified District will receive 32 of the 76 vehicles, the state says.

“Investing in K-12 education remains a top priority,” says Ducey. “These new dollars will benefit low-income school districts across Arizona, including many in rural areas."

The $38 million plan to buy an estimated 280 school buses stems from settlement funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The plan provides funding to school systems that have 60 percent or more of their students eligible for free and reduced lunch. It targets for replacement buses with more than 100,000 miles and older than 15 years.

In the first wave of funding, 142 diesel and alternative fuel school buses were awarded to 55 school districts and charter schools at a cost of $15.9 million. To date, Arizona has approved 77 applications from school districts and charter schools, resulting in $24.4 million awarded for 218 buses. A third wave of awards is expected to be announced in the near future.

The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust stems from a settlement of a lawsuit accusing Volkswagen of violating the Clean Air Act by modifying its vehicles to cheat emissions tests.

Arizona will receive $57 million over the next two years.

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