On Tuesday, the national nonprofit Propane Education & Research Council surprised teachers at Sierra Enterprise Elementary School in California with a $5,000 donation in recognition of Elk Grove Unified School District’s (EGUSD) efforts to maintain good stewardship of its economic and environmental resources by adding propane buses to its school transportation fleet. The donation is part of PERC’s nationwide campaign to educate parents, teachers, and school officials about the benefits of using an alternative fuel like propane.
“Propane school buses are the clean, quiet and safe alternative to older diesel buses, and Elk Grove Unified is a great example of the success a school district can enjoy after transitioning to propane school buses,” said Tucker Perkins, PERC president and CEO. “Plus, propane buses cost less to operate, so school districts can spend more of its operating budget on classroom programs.”
The $5,000 donation will be awarded to Sierra Enterprise Elementary School teachers to help buy classroom materials through the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org’s online marketplace for teachers.
Each day, Elk Grove Unified transports more than 9,000 students to and from school. The bus fleet also supports more than 6,000 field trips each year. With more than 200 school buses, it’s the largest transportation department in northern California, traveling a total of 2.7 million miles annually.
With a long history of reducing emissions in the area through using buses powered by alternative fuels, Elk Grove Unified became one of the first in its area to add propane buses to its fleet in 2016. Now, approximately 250 students get a clean, quiet ride to school on its nine propane buses.
“We value our partnership with PERC to accomplish our mutual interests in supporting our students and environment,” said Robert Pierce, EGUSD’s deputy superintendent of business services and facilities. “We are focused on expanding our school bus fleet that run on green fuels to ensure lower impacts on the environment and to our students.”
The trend of propane school bus adoption is growing across the country. According to PERC, schools in 750 districts across 47 states are operating more than 13,000 propane school buses, which transport nearly 790,000 students to school each day. The trend prompted PERC to launch its awareness campaign to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation and to partner with the non-profit AdoptAClassroom.org. Now in its third year, the campaign has donated $75,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.
Photos courtesy of PERC’s Twitter account