ERIN ELMORE: Biden admin to distribute almost $900 million to replacing gas school buses with electric

The Biden administration is set to distribute nearly $900 million in federal grants to schools nationwide as part of an initiative to replace gas-powered school buses with electric models, promoting cleaner energy and decarbonization.

This program is part of the Biden administration’s broader efforts to upgrade the infrastructure at public schools and reduce pollution from outdated school buses.

The Environmental Protection (EPA) Agency’s 2023 Clean School Bus Program aims to help school districts purchase over 3,400 clean school buses, with 92% being electric, supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles.

“President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo — our kids — saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.”

In response to this initiative, critics have questioned why the federal government appears to be more focused on school buses than the shocking decline in literacy rates among US students, which are alarmingly low. Testing from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that two-thirds of fourth-grade students in the U.S. lack proficiency in reading, with 40% being “essentially nonreaders,” as highlighted by a Fox News report.

Standardized test scores and reading comprehension among students continues to be suboptimal, specifically following the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the NAEP found that reading and math scores among students reached the lowest point in decades.

However, allocating more money to schools may not solve the problem. Data from the National Center of Educational Statistics shows that in 2019-20, total expenditures for public schools were $870 billion, with the US spending an average of over $17,000 per public school student.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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