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35 Arizona school districts, charter schools to get $7.5M for school buses

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Thirty-five school districts and charter schools across Arizona will buy new buses using $7.5 million from a lawsuit settlement with Volkswagen, it was announced Monday.

These two rounds of funding are the latest of Gov. Doug Ducey’s $38 million plan, which originally expected to get about 280 buses for low-income schools using money from the 2016 settlement.

So far, the state has approved 112 applications, totaling $31.8 million for 285 buses.

Some schools opted to purchase alternative fuel vehicles instead of diesel, including Glendale Union High School District, which received the most funding in this round — $980,000 for eight buses.

“These new buses will have a big impact across the state, especially in rural communities,” Ducey said in a press release.

“These funds will directly benefit low-income schools while helping ensure the safe transportation of our students to and from school.”

Volkswagen settled a federal lawsuit over an emissions cheating scandal three years ago, and Arizona was awarded $57 million.

Public schools with a bus that is more than 15 years old and has more than 100,000 miles on it were eligible for a replacement.

The rest of the money from the settlement will be used for wildland fire crews and Department of Transportation equipment.

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