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8 Arizona school districts get federal funding to switch to electric buses

Several Arizona school districts are switching from diesel school buses to electric ones. That's thanks to federal funds granted through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The law allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to offer rebates so schools can replace existing buses with clean and zero-emission models.

School districts across the country applied for the rebates and eight Arizona districts were chosen through a lottery system.

Diane Brown is with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, which encouraged districts to apply. 

“One of the biggest barriers that school districts have highlighted in the past is the up front cost of purchasing an electric bus," Brown said. “The federal funding helps to ensure the upfront cost is not a barrier.”

The EPA  Clean School Bus Program prioritizes low-income, rural and Tribal school districts.

Brown said the electric buses will also save schools more money in the long run, because they cost less to maintain.

A total of $11,415,000 will go toward 52 electric school buses in Arizona.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.