As electric school buses continue to rise in popularity especially amid an unprecedented amount of federal funds to soon be made available, national education and pupil transportation groups are taking the initiative to help school districts with the transition.
The National Association of Pupil Transportation is joining the School Superintendents Association (AASA) and the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International to create the Electric School Bus Collaborative (ESBC), which aims to incorporate more state and community perspectives and information about transitioning to electric school buses.
The announcement made on Tuesday comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency looks to kick off its $5 billion Clean School Bus Program this month.
ESBC leaders will work with and support school transportation directors, school finance and operations leaders, superintendents, and other state and local officials in assessing the capacity to electrify school bus fleets.
“The need for the collaborative is clear,” a joint press release from NAPT, AASA and ASBO states. The collaborative will also help to identify operational and financial challenges, as well as highlight the potential environmental and economic benefits of fuel-efficient, lower emission school buses.
“As we work toward equity-based and future-driven best practices in our school systems, district leaders must ensure bold strategies that will positively impact how our young learners are traveling to and from school,” stated Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of the AASA. “This partnership is steadfastly committed to creating the most efficient means possible in how we transport our students who are living in urban, suburban and rural communities. We are excited to work with NAPT and ASBO International on this critical endeavor.”
The announcement came a day after the announcement of the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure, which focuses on upgrading districts with modern, clean, energy-efficient facilities and transportation.
Related: Transportation Key Part of Biden-Harris Plan for Clean School Infrastructure
Related: California School District Converts Half of Fleet to Electric Buses
Related: New Hampshire Looks to Establish Electric School Bus Pilot Program
“As districts around the country are positioned to invest historic amounts of federal funding in improving air quality in schools, building outdoor learning spaces, and greening their building and transportation infrastructure, we commend the [Biden] administration for its efforts to recognize and encourage school district leaders and communities’ efforts,” the press release states.
The ESBC will also serve as a source of information, education and advice for school system leaders.