LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Four Arkansas school districts will give their students cleaner rides with a Wednesday announcement of federal grants for electric school buses.
The grants to Arkansas totaled $4.25 million for 11 buses from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Clean School Bus Program fund. The four districts were selected in a lottery drawing from the 29 Arkansas school districts that applied for funding.
Four buses are going to Alpena School District, three to Blytheville School District, three to Danville School District and one to the Wonderview School District.
Other Arkansas school districts, such as Little Rock, Farmington, Lake Hamilton and Texarkana, were put on a wait list. School districts on the EPA wait list will receive funding if an awardee is judged ineligible or does not use the awarded funds.
Arkansas applicants were able to apply for buses powered by either natural gas (CNG), propane, or electricity. All Arkansas districts applied for electric school buses.
The EPA program was initially funded at $500 million but was raised to $965 million based upon demand from school districts applying for grant funding. The money was drawn from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed late last year.
The Wednesday announcement provided buses for 389 applicants nationally, totaling $913 million.
The EPA said the remaining $56 million would be allocated to selected school districts in the next few weeks.
The program prioritizes low-income, rural and tribal communities.