Arizona Superintendent of Public instruction Kathy Hoffman is calling for children to ride in clean energy buses instead of the current fleet mostly fueled by the more pollutant-emitting Diesel fuel.
Did you know that every school day, hundreds of thousands of public school students in our state are exposed to dangerous pollutants emitted from school buses that are powered with dirty diesel fuel? It’s time to put our students’ health first & invest in clean-air buses.
— Kathy Hoffman (@kathyhoffman_az) July 15, 2022
For the environment which is currently recording massive heat waves around the world, this is welcome news that Arizona’s number one educator believes in science and wants the best, safest, and healthiest modes of transportation for school children.
It should be noted that the City of Tucson, under the leadership of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, is currently working on transitioning school buses in that area from diesel to electric-no-emission ones.
Reaction to Superintendent Hoffman’s Call for Clean Energy Buses
Reaction to Superintendent Hoffman’s recommendation to transition to clean energy buses has been met with varying degrees of positive support.
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Anna Tovar offered:
“I couldn’t agree more with Superintendent Hoffman. More clean buses are healthier for our kids and our environment. We need to invest in the necessary electric vehicle infrastructure so our schools can easily charge and dispatch their bus fleets.”
Arizona Corporation Commission Candidate and former Tempe Vice Mayor/Councilwoman Lauren Kuby relayed:
“Kathy Hoffman is a climate candidate, highlighting the connection between climate solutions, our schools, and community health.
The US EPA’s $5B Clean School Bus Program is yet another example of how Democratics deliver and connect the dots between climate action and the health of our kids. School districts can apply for full funding for the purchase of electric buses & charging infrastructure. An added bonus: school districts and fleet operators save between $170K to $240K in lifetime fuel and maintenance costs.
Considering that multiple counties in Arizona have amongst the worst air quality in the nation (please click here for more information,) and an increasing number of our children, especially children of color, suffer the ill health effects of this air pollution, I would hope that every school district in Arizona would apply for EPA funding (please click here.)
Environmental and Water rights activist, former Arizona State Senator, and current Congressional District Six Candidate Kirsten Engel commented:
“We can protect our kid’s health and reduce climate change by investing in electric school buses. Currently, most school buses run on diesel fuel. Diesel exhaust has been linked to respiratory illnesses and even cancer. By switching to electric buses, we protect our kids from exposure to dirty diesel exhaust fumes and take advantage of renewable energy on the grid. And, with the high cost of fuel right now, this switch will have the further benefit of saving school districts money. I applaud Supt. Hoffman for working to safeguard our kids’ health with clean air buses.”
Tempe Union High School Governing Board member Andres Barraza stated:
“I appreciate Superintendent Hoffman’s creativity regarding innovating our transportation system for public schools throughout the State. Investing in green technology is essential.
This initiative, however, without additional funding from the State, it will require every school district to allocate Maintenance and Operational dollars to invest in this change.
With the situation surrounding voucher money deriving from public school funding as well as the underfunding, in general, surrounding public education, I believe, without additional dollars, our best interest is to utilize our current buses responsibility and invest in innovating classrooms and increasing teacher pay.”
Chandler Unified School District Candidate Marilou Estes wrote:
“I think it’s a great idea. My question would be how would districts pay for them? It would definitely have to be a long-term plan with some monetary assistance from the state or federal government or possibly private entities. PTOs probably can’t afford to buy buses.”
Chandler Unified School District Candidate Patti Serrano commented:
“As a Mom whose family relies on our school buses, I stand with Superintendent Hoffman’s call to invest in our children’s health through clean air buses statewide. In addition to being better for our children’s and community’s health, supporting clean air buses is better for our environment as a whole and seizes the economic opportunity found in the cost benefits over time (lower fuel, operating, and maintenance costs). It’s time for real intention, innovation, and commitment. As a Candidate for Chandler Unified School District’s Governing Board, I look forward to working to see CUSD join such efforts in finding ways to bring clean air buses and other energy-efficient alternatives to our schools.”
Scottsdale School Board Candidate Robb Vaules stated:
“There has been an increasing push to move school districts away from traditional gas and diesel-powered buses in favor of alternative fuel options. Electric school buses produce zero emissions, which is much better for the environment. They are also quieter than traditional school buses, which can significantly benefit students with special needs who are sensitive to noise. While some challenges are associated with moving to alternative fuel school buses, such as the initial cost of investment and the need to install charging or CNG infrastructure, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Alternative fuel buses can be more reliable and require less maintenance than their petrol-powered counterparts. As a result, they can offer significant savings for school districts over the long term. I look forward to Arizona schools moving to these vehicles and will consider this an option for the Scottsdale District if I am elected.”