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Arizona schools to buy final 45 buses from Volkswagen lawsuit funds

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona schools will purchase another 45 new buses using the last round of funding stemming from a state lawsuit against Volkswagen, pushing the total to 330.

This fifth round of funding, which was announced Monday, is part of Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to replace outdated buses, which ended up providing a total of $36.8 million for 141 school districts and charter schools.

“We’ve been able to take the dollars and bring a lot of new, safe school buses for our kids in public schools in Arizona,” Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The governor originally expected to purchase about 280 buses for low-income schools using $38 million from the 2016 settlement.

With previous rounds of funding, the schools purchased 285 buses with $31.8 million, leaving additional money that the state chose to allocate to mostly rural districts.

“We’re happy that we’re able to get these buses to the school districts, and especially proud that we’re been able to help out each one of our 15 counties, including Phoenix and Tucson and our rural areas,” Ducey said.

Volkswagen settled a federal lawsuit over an emissions cheating scandal three years ago, and Arizona was awarded $57 million, part of which went to the school bus plan.

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

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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