Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced today that two school districts within Pima County are included in the awarding of more than $8 million to purchase new diesel and alternative fuel busses. Tucson Unified and Sunnyside school districts will benefit from the approval of funds.
“Investing in K-12 education remains a top priority,” said Governor Ducey, in a release. “These new dollars will benefit low-income school districts across Arizona, including many in rural areas. And by funding the purchase of new buses, these funds will free up additional resources schools can put toward other important needs.”
More than 20 school districts received approval for the purchase of 76 diesel and alternative fuel schools buses, totaling $8.4 million. That funding is the second wave of money awarded as part of a $38 million plan to provide low-income schools with new school buses.
In the first wave of funding, 142 diesel and alternative fuel school buses were awarded to 55 school districts and charter schools at a cost of $15.9 million. To date, Arizona has approved 77 applications from school districts and charter schools, resulting in $24.4 million awarded for 218 buses. A third wave of awards is expected to be announced in the near future.
Sunnyside applied for and received $990,000, while TUSD applied for and received $3.52 million.
The funding originated with Ducey’s 2018 plan to release $38 million to Arizona school districts utilizing settlement funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. According to the governor’s office, the plan provides funding to 60 percent free and reduced lunch school districts, charters and the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind to replace buses with over 100,000 miles and older than 15 years.
During a two-month application period last fall, school administrators received four training opportunities, on-demand online training resources and a direct point of contact for technical assistance during the application process.