Biden Admin Funds $900M for Green Buses Amid School Illiteracy Crisis

( – Amid a school illiteracy crisis, on May 29, the Biden administration announced it was awarding 530 school districts almost $900 million in federal grant money to replace diesel-fueled school buses with electric models.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the school districts awarded the funds are located in 47 states and Washington, D.C., with almost half the funding going to school districts that are in rural, low-income, and tribal communities.

The grants, the third round of funding from the EPA’s 2023 Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, will help the school districts to purchase 3,400 school buses, 92 percent of which will be electric, as the administration continues its push toward zero-emissions vehicles. To date, the EPA has given school districts all over the country almost $3 billion, allowing them to replace 8,500 school buses. The program, created in 2021 as part of the infrastructure law, awards $5 billion over five years to school districts to help convert buses to electric models.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said new electric school bus models will help improve air quality. He added that President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda helps children “lead a healthy life and breathe clean air.” He said the new school buses would also strengthen manufacturing jobs.

However, as Biden continues to push for electric school buses, assessments show that students across the United States struggle with literacy.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) biannual tests show that two-thirds of fourth graders cannot read with proficiency, with 40 percent considered to be “essentially nonreaders.”

The literacy statistics come even as the United States spends billions on providing public education for students each year. Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools across the country were $870 billion in the 2019–2020 school year, with similar numbers for the 2021-2022 school year.

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