Vice President Kamala Harris, the absent ‘border czar,’ took time out of her schedule on Tuesday to tout a $5 billion ‘investment’ in electric school buses, even as new studies are showing how much damage to learning Democrat-enforced school lockdowns during COVID caused.
According to a White House release, the current program leverages almost $1 billion from the recently-passed trillion-plus-dollar infrastructure law for rebates that will be handed out to school districts that buy electric school buses. A fact sheet notes that the Biden administration will spend $5 billion on the program.
“School buses safely transport more than 25 million children every day across America,” the White House said. “However, diesel exhaust from buses produces particulate matter and other pollutants that can cause lung damage and aggravate asthma and other health problems in children.”
She then delved into the hypocritical when she said: “In addition, diesel exhaust exposure has been linked to increased school absences.”
So have prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns.
As for electric school buses, the entire program seems like taxpayers are getting ripped off big time, per the Daily Wire:
The $913 million released by the first funding round divided among 2,463 electric buses implies an average cost of more than $370,000 per vehicle, which is twice as expensive as the typical diesel school bus, according to the Philadelphia School District, which added five new electric buses to its fleet earlier this year. Officials in the City of Brotherly Love expect annual fuel savings of roughly $5,000.
Twice as expensive for about five grand in fuel savings. That expense will take some time to recoup.
“When I think about what the experience should be for our children of going to school on the school bus, I think about the fact that it should be about maximizing that experience for them, understanding that this bus symbolizes so much about our collective investment in our future,” Harris said at an event in Seattle, Washington, during which she introduced the school bus program.
“Because, of course, it is about our investment in our children, in their health, and in their education. And in that way, our electric school bus program really does represent an intersection of all those points, on top of the importance of investing in domestic manufacturing,” she added.
This comes, per the Daily Wire, following:
…the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress showed average reading scores for nine-year-olds plummeting five points and average mathematics scores dropping seven points. “This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics,” according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Doubly expensive electric school buses are not going to fix poor education. But improving teacher salaries would.