Isaac School District Touted Historic Funding for Clean Electric School Buses

EDF Action, Moms Clean Air Force, Chispa AZ Host Clean Bus Event Showcasing that These Investments will Benefit Students, Clean Up Air and Protect Public Health

May 9, 2023
Hannah Blatt,, 202-572-3534

(Phoenix, Arizona May 9, 2023) - Electric school buses are a cleaner, safer and more cost effective way to get students in Phoenix to school. That’s why today EDF Action, Moms Clean Air Force, Chispa Arizona, Sierra Club and Defend Our Future partnered with Isaac School District to showcase the importance of the federal funding that the district received to upgrade its fleet.

Children all across Arizona ride in dirty diesel-powered school buses daily, exposing them to harmful air pollution that exacerbates asthma attacks and results in missed school days. In Arizona, the Latinx community is more likely to be exposed to higher concentrations of problematic particle pollution from this filthy tailpipe exhaust.  

Isaac School District is working to bring policy solutions to its schools that will invest in its children’s future with clean electric school buses. Isaac School District recently received $2.37 million in funding to help accelerate the transition to clean, zero-emission school buses and at the event, there was a clean school bus to showcase this positive transition for the school district that speaks to a cleaner, healthier future for our children.  

This event comes at a critical moment as the Environmental Protection Agency has opened up the second round of funding for clean school buses. This is part of President Biden’s clean energy plan, which created a new program the Clean School Bus Program that set aside $5 billion over the next 5 years for electric school buses. And already over 90% of school districts nationwide have already requested clean electric buses as they are better for the environment and more economical than propane or natural gas-fueled buses.

“President Biden’s clean energy plan is making historic investments in our community and today we saw this with Isaac School District when they showcased for their community and beyond their historic investment in clean school buses,” said Anabel Maldonado, EDF Action Southwest Director of Political Programs. “I grew up in this community. I grew up with asthma causing me to miss so many school days so I know first hand why transitioning to clean, zero-emission school buses is essential in order to protect the health of our children, our families and our community’s long term well-being.” 

“Every single student in our school district and across our state has the right to clean air. But right now, Maricopa County’s air quality is failing our students. This pollution is dangerous for their health – resulting in missed school days and increased asthma attacks – and right now dirty diesel buses are exacerbating the air pollution problem,” said Superintendent Dr. Mario Ventura. “Isaac School District has a plan to get dirty diesel buses off our roads and out of our community by transitioning to all electric school buses. This is the best investment we as a school district could make for our students to keep them healthy and able to focus on learning. And it’s because of the federal administration’s investments in clean school buses that we’re able to make this a reality.”

“Clean air is essential. But unfortunately far too many people and students in my district breathe in toxic air every day. This is harmful to our livelihoods and health, especially the health of our young children.” said Senator Flavio Bravo. “Air pollution spews into our air from diesel buses, cars and trucks, and this exhaust knows no bounds, blowing every which direction. That’s why I’m thrilled that our community is investing in clean electric vehicle school buses. Isaac School District is leading the way, helping to protect our students’ health while reducing our emissions and helping to tackle the climate crisis head on.”

“It is urgent to make changes so that students who use school buses are free from diesel pollution,” said in Spanish Mayra Hernandez, Chispa Arizona member. “My son who struggled with asthma growing up and had to ride the school bus every day missed school periodically due to his respiratory issues. We can do better for the new generations and I urge school districts to apply for funding to get electric buses for their schools.”

“The dangers of dirty diesel vehicles are well known. Diesel pollution causes cancer. It triggers asthma attacks. It damages the lungs and the heart. It cuts lives short. It can seep inside the bus cabin from the tailpipe and get trapped inside the bus. This is bad for the children and bad for the bus drivers. Diesel buses have no business being in the places where our children live, learn, and play. On behalf of Moms Clean Air Force and the more than 1.5 million parents and caregivers we represent, we heartily congratulate Isaac School District on their leadership in the transition to ‘Clean School Buses’ and hope that every district in Arizona will make their school bus purchases electric school buses.  ‘Let’s let our kids breathe clean air,’” said Mom’s Clean Air Force Arizona Organizer Hazel Chandler.