School systems in Georgia will receive $51.1 million in federal subsidies for the purchase of electric school buses, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in October.
The Clean School Bus program, announced last May, aims to accelerate the country’s transition to zero-emission vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and their communities.
In total, nearly $1 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure spending bill that Congress passed last fall will go to 389 school districts spanning all 50 states; Washington D.C.; and several US tribes and territories.
“As many as 25 million children depend on the bus to get to school every day,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Through the Biden-Harris administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in the health of our children, especially those in communities burdened by air pollution.
“This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution and ensure the clean, breathable air that all of our children deserve.”
In Georgia, school bus grants go to 15 school districts. The largest grants at $9.9 million each are for the school systems in Atlanta, Clayton County and Savannah-Chatham County.
The awards announced Wednesday represent the first billion dollars of a five-year, $5 billion program created under the Infrastructure Act.
The EPA is in the process of designing the next rounds of funding for the program to launch in the coming months. Through future rounds of funding, the EPA will make an additional $1 billion available for clean school buses in the next fiscal year.
The agency encourages school districts not selected in the first round of grants — and those who did not apply this round of funding — to apply for future rounds.
This story is available through a partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.