KSDE Weekly

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EPA soliciting applications for $400 million in grant funding under Clean School Bus Grant Program

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects to award about $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus Grant Program.  

The program is soliciting applications nationwide for a grant competition to fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses. 

All application packages need to be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov no later than 10:59 p.m. (central time) Tuesday, Aug. 22, to be considered for funding. 

This competitive grant funding follows the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which was the first round of funding. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 authorized EPA to offer rebates to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission models to reduce harmful emissions from older buses. Under the rebate program, the EPA received about 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for more than 12,000 buses. The EPA selected 404 applicants, including the six in Kansas, and awarded a total of $949,595,000.  

Wabaunsee Unified School District 329 was the first district in Kansas to receive electric school buses, which were delivered to the district on Dec. 16. 

The other five districts in Kansas to receive funding under the rebate program, were:  

  • Southern Lyon County, four buses, $372,500 per bus, a total amount of $1,490,000.  
  • Waconda USD 272, four buses, $395,000 per bus, a total amount of $1,580,000.  
  • Sterling USD 376, two buses, $395,000 per bus, a total amount of $790,000.  
  • Caney Valley USD 437, two buses, $395,000 per bus, a total amount of $790,000.  
  • Halstead USD 440, three buses, $395,000 per bus, a total amount of $1,185,000. 

The 2023 Clean School Bus Grant Program includes two sub-programs, one for school district and Tribal applicants and one for third-party applicants, according to the EPA. The agency is doing this to address the “unique needs and concerns of diverse recipients and encourage participation in the Clean School Bus grants program,” EPA said in an announcement. 

EPA is prioritizing applications that will replace buses serving high-need local education agencies, rural areas, Tribal school districts funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and public school districts receiving basic support payments for students living on Tribal land and rural areas. The EPA wants to ensure the Clean School Bus Program delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative that 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities. 

EPA is hosting a series of public webinars from May through August to provide potential applicants with an overview and information on how to apply. Webinar registration links will soon be posted here. The first session is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. May 10. To register for this Zoom, visit the webinar registration page

Potential grant applicants without a Federal Grants account are encouraged to initiate the Federal Grants registration process well ahead of the deadline for funding since the registration process can take a month or more. 

Recipients of the grant funds will be notified between November 2023 to January 2024, with awards anticipated between February to March 2024. 

Posted: May 4, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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