Chicago, Peoria, East St. Louis public school districts to purchase dozens of electric school buses as part of Illinois’ transition to a clean energy economy 

Jan. 10, 2024 — Labor coalition Climate Jobs Illinois today applauded the Biden-Harris administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for awarding grants to three major public school districts in Illinois — Chicago, Peoria and East St. Louis — to purchase electric school buses as part of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition.   

CJI facilitated the funding application process for school districts in Chicago, Peoria and East St. Louis through its Carbon Free Healthy Schools campaign, which is designed to help public schools and universities invest in energy efficiency upgrades and solar power systems. 

View the full list of Clean School Bus Grantees. 

Overall, this round of federal funding will help public schools purchase 2,700 clean school buses in 280 school districts serving over 7 million students across 37 states. 

The Clean School Bus Program will cut greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and reduce air pollution, which is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and can cause them to miss school. Studies also show that fostering healthier classroom environments enhances student performance.  

“Accelerating the transition to electric school buses and low-emissions vehicles will put clean buses on the roads, saving school districts money and improving air quality to create a healthier, safer future for families in Illinois,” said CJI Executive Director Joe Duffy. “This historic funding initiative will help transform our economy, create good-paying jobs and contribute to tackling the climate crisis. I’m honored to have partnered with these school districts to help them secure this critical funding.” 

CJI also reminded other public school districts that there’s still time to secure this critical funding through the EPA. Districts can currently apply for the EPA’s ongoing 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which is accepting applications until January 31, 2024.   

To learn more about the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, applicant eligibility, selection process, and informational webinar dates for future rounds of funding, visit the Clean School Bus Program website.  

About Climate Jobs Illinois 

Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois working men and women who are best equipped to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers,
International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150,
Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region and the Service Employees International Union State Council and the Illinois Pipe Trades Association.

Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute. 

To learn more, visit, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page.