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Federal Funding for Electric School Buses Reduced in Infrastructure Agreement

Package still includes $15 billion to help usher in zero-emissions vehicles for schoolchildren

A bipartisan deal to fund $1.2 trillion in federal infrastructure projects included several concessions, including $5 billion less for transitioning school buses to electric power than the White House originally asked for. 

However, the plan negotiated by 20 senators, 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, also lists electric transit buses as eligible uses of the funds.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced the agreement, which is nearly a third of his administration’s original $4 trillion proposal, following weeks of negotiations with Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Last week, School Transportation News obtained an overview of the bipartisan plan, specifically $579 billion in new spending on roads and bridges, improved transit systems, broadband internet investments, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Curt Macysyn, the executive director of the National School Transportation Association, said the final bill — and investments made in electric school buses — could change again. In fact, multiple news outlets including the Wall Street Journal are reporting that Biden and congressional Democrats are now tying the success of the infrastructure package to another piece of legislation that seeks to increase investments in health care, childcare, higher education access, and climate change programs.

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