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State and PTA Partner To Clean Up School Busses

Riding behind an old school bus isn't the best place to be. It's not so good being inside one of them either, says the Texas PTA's Ellen Arnold. "The quality of the air inside the cabin of the bus is actually poorer than the quality of the air around the bus."

The PTA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are working together to get money to school districts that need help retrofitting old busses with filters to clean them up. In some cases, that money can be used to replace the oldest busses with new, cleaner ones.

The program is funded in part by money from polluters. When those industries are fined, they can choose to send some of that money to the Clean School Bus Program. The PTA then finds school districts in the same geographic area as that industry to fund bus cleanup.

While there are around five million dollars available, Arnold says that isn't enough. "When a school district applies for these grants they typically are given a maximum of $250,000. For many school districts that does not completely solve the problem, that won't retrofit all of their busses." She says in some cases school districts have to apply for money more than once to get all of their busses cleaned up.

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