Iowa Schools Encouraged to Apply for Federal Grants for New Buses

DES MOINES, IA (Radio Iowa) State Auditor Rob Sand is encouraging Iowa school districts to apply for federal infrastructure grants to replace aging diesel powered buses. The grants can be used to buy buses that are battery-powered or run on propane or compressed natural gas. Sand says the federal program puts no limit on how much money goes to each state.

“If we do a good job of getting applications in, we could really make great investments in our school bus fleet and great investments in reducing costs for our school districts in this state,” Sand says. The application deadline is August 19th. Sand says more efficient school buses could make a big impact on a district’s budget.

“Now that inflation is a problem and we are dealing with high fuel prices constantly, this could be an incredibly promising program for a lot of school districts to be able to save a good amount of money,” Sand says. The grants come from the bipartisan infrastructure bill congress approved last year. The program is for replacing buses that are at least 12 years old. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of 204 public school districts in Iowa that would be prioritized for grants because they are rural or serve a student body with a high poverty rate. The Meskwaki Settlement School is also on the E-P-A’s priority list for bus replacement.

(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Grant Gerlock)

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