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Texas School Buses May Continue Requiring Masks

Texas recently made headlines for stepping down its COVID-19 mask requirements. Businesses around the lone star state are no longer mandated to enforce mask-wearing on their premises - but they are still allowed to voluntarily require masks, if they choose.

Electric School Buses: Myths Versus Facts

Electric school buses may be one of the most misunderstood types of alt-fuel buses.  In many ways, they're the safest and cleanest of all the ways you could power a bus, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. Some of the myths used to be true, and some are outright fabrications, but they all may hold districts back from investing in a viable alt-energy system.

Federal Legislation Seeks $1B in Funding for School Buses

If your school district is interested in upgrading to electric school buses, you may get some help in the next few years. The "Clean School Bus Act" has been re-introduced in the House Of Representatives, and would provide over $1 billion dollars in funding to help districts pay for clean-energy bus upgrades.

The bill was first introduced in 2019 by several Democrats in Congress, but due to political tensions at the time, it died in a Senate committee without much action. Now, it has been reintroduced and stands a much better chance of passing. Passage isn't a sure thing - and the government has a lot on its plate at the moment - but if it does pass it could be good news for districts hoping to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

Making Social Distancing Work on a School Bus

If your school is maintaining in-person classes during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, your district should be doing everything possible to reduce the chances of disease transmission. This is a major challenge - especially on school buses! As a small enclosed space, school buses are perfect for spreading a disease that thrives through person-to-person contact.

The only good solution is to maintain social distancing rules, even on the bus. This won't be easy, but it's better than having a major outbreak at your school. Fortunately, we have a few tips to make this task a bit easier.

Reducing the Costs of School Bus Transportation

There's no doubt that maintaining and running a school bus fleet is one of the most expensive aspects of school budgeting. It's often the 2nd or 3rd largest line item in many school budgets. Buses are costly to run and maintain but are absolutely required in every district.

This makes it vital that districts do everything they can to keep bus transportation costs low - especially now that the coronavirus is creating new budget strains. Here are a few tips on lowering your fleet costs.

Encouraging Loyalty in School Bus Drivers

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, schools around the nation were struggling to find enough school bus drivers to keep all their routes running. The coronavirus only made things worse. It's become harder than ever for schools to find and keep drivers, particularly when many drivers in high-risk groups are unwilling to endanger themselves.

To keep your school district running, you need to be doing everything possible to maintain loyalty among your drivers. Once someone is on the payroll, you need to hang onto them. Here are some suggestions.

K-12 Relief Funds: School Bus Ventilation Systems

Shortly before leaving office, President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 into law. Part of this law includes over $54 billion in funding grants to help both public and charter schools respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Propane Autogas Eases Back-to-School Challenges

Of all the back-to-school challenges facing school districts in 2020, the problem of successfully busing students may be one of the most pressing. By law, every district must provide transportation for any student that needs it - but schools only have so many buses, and safe social distancing during an outbreak means those buses should only be 1/6 to 1/4 full. Otherwise, the students are so close that they could transmit the coronavirus simply by breathing at each other.

School Buses Deliver Meals to Virtual Learners

If your school is closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak or only operating at a reduced capacity, it may feel like you're letting your community down. Parents rely on functioning schools for everything from childcare to meal preparation, and in these challenging times, it can be difficult to know how to best help out. 

While there are no easy answers here, many schools have found a way to reduce the burden on parents who can't send their kids to school - using school buses to deliver lunches to low-income families.

School Districts Try out Lighted Signs on School Buses

School bus safety is one of the foremost concerns for any school transportation program - and there is no shortage of companies trying to sell you upgrades in the name of safety. Sorting through them in terms of cost vs benefit can be difficult, particularly with so many high-tech solutions entering the market.

But, what if one of the best school bus safety measures is also among the cheapest and easiest to implement? Many districts are coming to believe that simply adding more lights to their buses can keep students safe - and there's plenty of reason to believe that's the case.

 

 

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