Colorado School Districts Win Grants for Electric School Buses

DENVER, CO – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the award of funding for four Rural Colorado school districts, with large Latino populations, to purchase electric school buses, including Big Sandy, Grand East, Primero Reorganized School District, and Sangre De Cristo. Read the EPA release here. Leader from Environmental Justice Coalitions of Colorado nonprofits advocating for cleaner air, environmental justice, children’s health and for energy efficiency celebrated the announcement as a great start for a healthy transition:

Finally our young Latinos can breathe clean air! Our barrios are often contaminated with pollution from highways, factory operations, or oil sites; all of which cause daily health impacts to youth and adults alike. But, the EPA's announcement that 8 Colorado districts have been awarded zero emission rides to school through electric school buses means that the highly Latino rural schools will get to reap these environmental benefits at last. The fight continues for more districts to breathe clean air,"  said Katara Burrola, Environmental Justice Organizer, Mi Familia Vota

“We know that greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to climate change and poor air quality in the Front Range as well as across Colorado and the impacts are even more pronounced in our disproportionately impacted communities where black and brown people suffer more cases of respiratory disease than other communities,” said Juan Roberto Madrid, GreenLatinos Colorado Clean Transportation and Energy Policy Advocate. “We are pleased that the EPA is helping schools in Rural Colorado transition to electric school buses so that our children and our communities can breathe cleaner air.”


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $5 billion to help school districts buy electric school buses. The law charged the EPA with distributing the funds over 5 years. School districts submitted the first round of funding applications this August. EPA received so much interest in the grant program that the agency doubled the amount of funding to be distributed this year, to nearly $1 billion nationwide.

The initial round of funding prioritized low-income, rural and tribal school districts. However, all school districts are eligible for funding. EPA will be awarding more money in future years, including $1 billion anticipated for fiscal year 2023.  All school districts, whether selected this round or not, should apply for future rounds of funding.

The federal funding complements $65 million in state funding for electric school buses that the Polis administration and state legislature set aside during the 2022 legislative session, as part of a larger clean air package. Additionally, Colorado electric utilities have or are launching programs to help school districts acquire buses and install the necessary charging infrastructure. (For example, see this bus rebate program and commercial charging infrastructure program by Xcel Colorado.)


About GreenLatinos: GreenLatinos is an active comunidad of Latino/a/x leaders, emboldened by the power and wisdom of our culture, united to demand equity and dismantle racism, resourced to win our environmental, conservation, and climate justice battles, and driven to secure our political, economic,cultural, and environmental liberation. https://www.greenlatinos.org/

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