Why the School Bus Modernization Act is Essential

Electrifying School Buses: A Step Towards a Cleaner Future

Electrifying School Buses: A Step Towards a Cleaner Future

The School Bus Modernization Act: A Game-Changer for School Districts

In the upcoming 2024 Legislative Session, the School Bus Modernization Act will be considered. This groundbreaking legislation aims to provide state funding and streamline systems to enable school districts to replace aging diesel buses with electric ones. Importantly, it presents an opportunity for districts without imposing any mandates.

A Mother’s Perspective: Supporting Electric Buses for a Better Future

Teresa Tenorio, candidate and incumbent in District 4 for the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education.

As a mother of three children attending public schools and a member of the Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) Board of Education, I am incredibly excited about the potential of the School Bus Modernization Act. It offers a path to a cleaner and healthier future for our children and the entire community.

LCPS Leading the Way: Embracing Electric Buses

Demonstrating forward-thinking leadership, LCPS has already taken steps towards embracing electric buses. In 2021, LCPS applied for and won an award for five electric buses, set to arrive in the spring. Additionally, the school board has passed a resolution advocating for funding electric school buses, work vehicles, and infrastructure. Furthermore, the development of an electric bus policy is underway, further solidifying LCPS’s commitment to cleaner transportation solutions.

Learning from Success Stories Nationwide

There is much to learn from other districts across the country that have already received funding to replace their old diesel buses with electric alternatives. Whether in urban areas or rural communities, in hot or cold climates, the benefits of electric buses are clear. For instance, Santa Fe Public Schools has had a positive experience with their electric buses, with drivers and mechanics expressing their satisfaction with the new vehicles.

A Breath of Fresh Air: Health Benefits of Electric Buses

Electric buses offer a significant improvement in air quality for our school children. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to respiratory illnesses, such as asthma. By transitioning to electric buses, we can protect the health of our students, as well as school employees and bus drivers who are also affected by diesel exhaust. Communities that have already made the switch have witnessed notable health improvements, and it’s time to bring those benefits to schools throughout New Mexico.

A Quieter and Safer Ride

One immediate and noticeable difference of electric buses is their near-silent operation. Just imagine riding a school bus where you can have a conversation with your seatmate without shouting. This enhanced quietness allows bus drivers to be more attentive to their surroundings, ensuring safer journeys for everyone onboard. With fewer distractions, kids are also more likely to behave, resulting in a more enjoyable and peaceful ride.

Economic Benefits: Saving Money for School Districts

As a responsible overseer of our district’s budget, I understand the importance of making cost-effective decisions. Maintaining and fueling aging diesel buses can be a significant financial burden. However, research indicates that electric school buses offer substantial cost savings in the long run. On average, school districts can save between $4,000 and $11,000 per bus annually by making the switch to electric.

The Need for Funding: Making Electric Buses Accessible

While the benefits of electric buses are clear, the initial investment can be costly. This is precisely why the School Bus Modernization Act is crucial. By combining state funds with resources from the Clean School Bus Program in the Inflation Reduction Act, New Mexico has the opportunity to make electric buses economically feasible for every school district. As a member of the LCPS Board of Education, I urge you to join me in contacting your representative and expressing your support for this vital legislation.

Read More of this Story at www.lcsun-news.com – 2024-01-01 12:07:27

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