Biden admin prioritizes 0 million for green school buses as illiteracy plagues US schools

The Biden administration is dispersing nearly $900 million dollars in federal grants for school districts nationwide to decarbonize their bus fleets, despite child illiteracy continuing to plague children in the U.S. education system.

On Wednesday, the White House unveiled nearly $900 million in awards to 530 school districts to replace thousands of aging, gas-fueled school buses with “cleaner” electric models.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Clean School Bus Program rebate competition helps school districts purchase over 3,400 clean school buses, with 92% of them being electric, aiding the Biden administration’s desire to transition to zero emission vehicles.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said that new school buses improve air quality and strengthen manufacturing jobs.

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“President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” Regan said. “With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo — our kids — saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.”

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is part of a push by President Biden’s administration to upgrade public school infrastructure and reduce pollution from old buses.

The push by the Biden administration to upgrade school infrastructure comes as U.S. students struggle with literacy within the classroom walls.

Little girl with head on table

Biannual testing through the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) consistently shows that two thirds of U.S. fourth grade children are unable to read with proficiency. 

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An astounding 40% are “essentially nonreaders,” the NAEP said.

A U.S. classroom

Despite the astounding number of children who are illiterate, the U.S. spends billions each year on providing public education for students.

According to the National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES), total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States were $870 billion in 2019–20. The costs remained constant for the 2021-2022 school year.

The U.S. spends an average of $17,013 per public school pupil enrolled in the fall of that school year, the NCES said. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House and EPA for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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