Our national coalition was established in 2017 by Chispa, a program of the League of Conservation Voters; the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC); Sierra Club; and VEIC. Since then, our coalition has organized local community members and stakeholders to advocate for a transition from dirty diesel to zero-emission electric school buses, starting in the communities most harmed by air pollution.
Through educational workshops, petition collections, electric school bus demonstrations and tours, marches and rallies, press conferences, and grassroots lobbying, we have succeeded in securing investments in electric school buses for students in Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, California, Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Vermont.
Because electric school buses can be difficult to finance, as schools manage other demands on their budget, our coalition has advocated for additional funding opportunities, such as the Volkswagen Settlement and Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants.
In 2019, members of our coalition worked closely with then-Senator Kamala Harris to help develop the Clean School Bus Act, a first of its kind bill to establish a $1 billion federal grant program to help school districts electrify school buses. The coalition mobilized parents, students, and youth to contact their Members of Congress, securing 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and 52 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Legislation modeled on the Clean School Bus Act was included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, creating an up to $5 billion program at the EPA to replace school buses with electric models.
Today, we continue to catalyze interest among school districts to pursue electrification, and advocate for state and federal funding for electric school buses, fighting for healthier kids and pollution-free communities.
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