35 Southeastern school districts awarded funding totaling over $172 million, improving air quality for our children and communities.
Knoxville, TN. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the $965 million Clean School Bus Program 2023 Grants. 35 school districts in the Southeast region were among the 280 nationally that received grant funding to replace aging diesel buses with cleaner alternatives.
- Nationally, funds will support the purchase of over 2,700 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to selectees in 37 states.
- Prioritized school districts in low-income, rural, Tribal, and/or Justice40 communities make up approximately 86% of the projects selected for funding.
Dory Larsen, Senior Electric Transportation Program Manager with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, issued the following statement in response to the EPA’s announcement:
“We are excited to congratulate the 35 Southeastern school districts on receiving EPA Clean School Bus Program grants, totaling over $172 million for the region. Special congratulations to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the only Tribal nation awarded, who have been leading and guiding others on electric school bus adoption in the region and now will receive 15 electric buses. Also of note, Clayton County and Dekalb County Districts in Georgia and Miami-Dade County School District in Florida received funding for 50 electric buses each.
School districts across the Southeast are committed to electric, zero-emission solutions that save thousands of dollars in fueling and maintenance costs, provide the best performance, and improve air quality for our students and communities.
Additionally, we’re pleased that nationally over 85% of the funding is being awarded to school districts in rural and low-income communities nationwide.”
Created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021, the Clean School Bus Program is investing $5 billion through 2026 to replace diesel school buses with cleaner alternatives. EPA initially offered $400 million in April 2023 but awarded $965 million after receiving nearly $2 billion in applications with this first competitive grant round. This proceeds the nearly $900 million in lottery-based rebates during the program’s inaugural year in 2022.
EPA currently has a rebate round of CSBP funding open; unlike competitive grants, rebates are lottery-based and are easier to apply for. School districts and other eligible parties have until January 31, 2024, to submit an application for $500 million in rebate funding.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is proud to be a member of the Alliance for Electric School Buses, a national coalition of not-for-profit organizations committed to an equitable electrification of the nation’s school bus fleet. We look forward to bringing additional opportunities for the Southeast to join the momentum for a #CleanRide4Kids. Learn more about the coalition here.
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About the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy: Since 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has worked to promote responsible and equitable energy choices to ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at cleanenergy.org.