Biden Administration Allocates Nearly $900 Million to Decarbonize School Bus Fleets Amidst Ongoing Child Illiteracy Issues

The Biden administration is dispersing nearly $900 million in federal grants to school districts nationwide to decarbonize their bus fleets, despite ongoing child illiteracy challenges in the U.S. education system.

On Wednesday, the White House announced nearly $900 million in awards to 530 school districts to replace thousands of aging, gas-fueled school buses with “cleaner” electric models. Reported by Fox News

This initiative is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2023 Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, which supports the purchase of over 3,400 clean school buses, with 92% being electric, aligning with the administration’s goal to transition to zero-emission vehicles.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan emphasized the benefits of the new school buses, stating that they improve air quality and bolster manufacturing jobs. As Reported by Reuters, “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,” Regan said.

“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.”

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to upgrade public school infrastructure and reduce pollution from older buses. However, this push comes amid significant literacy challenges within U.S. classrooms.

Biannual testing through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) consistently reveals that two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders are unable to read proficiently. Despite this, the U.S. spends billions annually on public education.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the U.S. reached $870 billion in the 2019-2020 school year, with similar spending levels maintained through 2021-2022. The average spending per public school pupil in the fall of that school year was $17,013, according to Newstral.