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Federal Clean School Bus (CSB) Grant Program seeks applications

The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program is now accepting applications from qualifying school transportation providers for its second round of grant funding intended to fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) school buses. The deadline for applying is August 22, 2023.

The EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the 2023 Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Funding for this program was approved as part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

Eligible school districts, tribes, contractors, and nonprofit school transportation associations may apply for funding to replace diesel-powered buses with new non-diesel models, including zero-emission electric school buses, and propane, or compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses.


Study looks at ways federal government shortchanges K-12 public education

From EdWeek: “The federal government contributes roughly 8 percent of the $795 billion that annually goes toward educating the nation’s 50 million children. In many cases, however, the federal share falls short of its self-imposed targets, shortchanging schools on everything from high-need students and special education to facilities and school meals.

“This shortfall will persist without more vigorous and reliable federal intervention, argue the authors of a new report on funding sources for K-12 schools.

“Instead of asking school districts to rely on volatile state and local revenue, they say, the federal government needs to dramatically step up its investment in K-12 education and proactively establish funding programs that help schools during economic downturns.” (more…)

Bipartisan bill would extend school meal waivers

A bipartisan effort is underway in Congress to extend school meal waivers that were enacted in response to the pandemic. Without Congressional action, those waivers are set to expire on June 30, 2022.

The existing waivers, which allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to waive various requirements that govern how schools can serve meals and who can get them, also increased the reimbursement rates for school food programs. (more…)

President set to announce Administration’s budget proposal for federal fiscal year 2023

President Biden is scheduled to announce his  budget proposal for federal fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023) late this afternoon.  We will provide details of the plan relating to K-12 education as soon as we have them.

We are informed that, under the President’s plan, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will $88.3 billion in discretionary funding, which is a $12.9 billion (17%) increase over the 2022 net enacted level. (more…)

IDEA Full Funding Act reintroduced in Congress

Special education is the largest, single unfunded mandate placed on Wisconsin schools and the continual underfunding of special education costs is a vexing problem for Wisconsin school boards.  However, relief may be on the way.

Federal legislation known as the IDEA Full Funding Act was reintroduced on Nov. 16.  The bill reflects an effort to finally ensure Congress fully meets its longstanding commitment to fund special education services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The bipartisan and bicameral support for the bill–i.e., support from members of both parties in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives–is raising hopes for its passage. (more…)

$1.2 Trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill clears U.S. House, heads to President’s desk

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 228-206 on Friday to pass a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which now heads to President Biden, who has indicated he will sign the bill into law “soon.”

Thirteen 13 Republican House members and all but six House Democrats voted in favor of passage of the bill.  The U.S. Senate had passed the bill by a 69-30 margin back in August. (more…)