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Biden Admin Pumps $900 Million Into Green School Buses As America’s Students Continue To Struggle

The Biden administration announced it is handing out $900 million to pay for green school buses, while American public school students continue to perform poorly in the aggregate.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the recipients of the funding for green school buses to fight climate change, with schools in 47 states receiving some funding. The spending comes as American public school students continue to struggle to make up for learning disruptions caused by COVID-19 lockdown policies, as a 2022 review by the National Assessment of Educational Progress found that only 31% of eighth grade students met or exceeded grade-level proficiency in reading, a decrease from 2019.

“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,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said of the funding. “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.” (RELATED: America’s Power Grid Could Gum Up Biden EPA’s Plan To Electrify School Buses, Report Finds)

The green school bus push is part of the Biden administration’s broader, $1 trillion-plus climate agenda, which seeks to slash emissions in nearly every facet of American life.

Educational outcomes for American students have generally tanked since the pandemic, when some Democrats and teachers’ unions pushed for prolonged school closures and remote learning. Some of the nation’s struggling school districts were among the awardees announced Wednesday by the EPA.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Public Schools received more than $5 million to acquire more than 15 green buses, according to the EPA. Only 21% of third graders in the Prince George’s County system were proficient in math in 2023; less than 10% of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students were proficient in math last year, according to The Washington Post.

In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City School District is set to receive more than $8.5 million to buy green school buses, according to the EPA. Philadelphia public school students are also struggling academically, with only 15% of middle school students and 43% of high school students scoring proficient in math while 24% of middle schoolers and 41% of high school students testing as proficient in reading, according to U.S. News.

The EPA also awarded more than $8.5 billion to the public school system in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to purchase at least 25 green buses for students. At Bridgeport’s schools, less than 16% of students met the state’s standards in reading and less than 7% in math during the 2022-2023 school year, according to CTPost.

The EPA and the White House did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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