Article | September 28, 2023
How to Apply for Clean School Bus Program Funding

The EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program is open for applications. Here’s how to apply.

Electric school buses charge in a parking lot, under a canopy.

Applications for the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebates are now open!

You can learn more from the EPA here, and you can sign up to receive updates from WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative here, so you’ll be the first to know when we release more information and resources for this application period!

Learn more

The Electric School Bus Initiative team is analyzing the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebates Program and will share more detailed information in the future. Be sure to check back often for more, and sign up to receive updates from WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative here!

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congress authorized up to $5 billion to replace polluting diesel school buses nationwide – and approximately $500 million of these funds are available right now for school districts and fleet operators.

These funds can be used to purchase electric school buses and charging infrastructure through the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, providing school districts and other eligible applicants with a historic opportunity. This is your chance to bring the health, air quality and climate benefits of clean-running electric school buses to your students, communities and school districts – using federal dollars to cover up to the full cost! 

Already, there has been historic demand for these funds, with school districts and fleet operators receiving nearly $1 billion in funds during the first rebate round of funding. In September 2023, the EPA opened the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program for applications, with $500 million available. 

Applications for the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebates Program are due January 31, 2024. Learn more and be sure to check back often for updated information:

Who is eligible to apply for Clean School Bus Program funds?

All public school districts in the U.S. are eligible to apply for funding through the Clean School Bus Program!         

That includes school districts in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Native nations, tribal organizations and tribally-controlled schools. Public charter schools with an NCES District ID are eligible as well. In addition to school districts, private fleet operators can also apply directly for CSBP funding.         

Other eligible organizations include nonprofit school transportation associations and certain types of eligible contractors (including school bus dealers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), school bus service providers, and private school bus fleets that provide school bus transportation services).         

Check the EPA website for full eligibility information.         

The EPA has also designated certain school districts as priority districts who are prioritized in the application process and are eligible for higher levels of funding. You can see the full list of priority districts here.         

School districts have the opportunity to self-certify as priority school districts even if they are not in the list of priority districts, if they meet certain criteria. Districts can self-certify if they are a large public school district with more than 35,000 students or more than 45 public schools, or if they received a Title I, Part A grant through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the 2021-2022 academic year. You can find out more about self-certification here.   

When are CSBP applications due?

The application deadline is January 31, 2024. You can see more important dates on the EPA website.

How do I get started?

If you’re an eligible applicant, begin by registering your school district as an entity at This is the website the federal government uses to track and disburse funds, and you’ll need your entity number from this site to fill out the application. Check the EPA website for more information about         

You should also begin the planning process for transitioning to electric school buses as soon as possible. Our Step-by-Step Guide can walk you through the key steps in that process, including:

  • Charging Infrastructure and Operations Planning
  • Procurement and Installation
  • Training, Testing and Deployment
  • Performance, Benefits and Scaling

Throughout the process, it’s important to actively engage with stakeholders in your school district, those directly involved with your pupil transportation process and within the community. Check out the Step-by-Step Guide to learn more!     

Other resources that may be useful during your application process include:

How can I learn more?

To schedule a one-on-one conversation with an Electric School Bus Initiative expert, click here.         

To read more about the 2023 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, check out the EPA website.

Why are electric school buses the right choice for my district?

Electric school buses are the only school bus type with zero tailpipe emissions. That means no tailpipe emissions of harmful pollutants that can be damaging to students’ physical health and cognitive development.         

Electric school buses are responsible for significantly lower levels of greenhouse gases than diesel-burning and propane-burning school buses, and they can save school districts thousands of dollars a year on fuel and maintenance costs – and our analysis shows that a school district operating an ESB can expect to see over $100,000 in lifetime fuel and maintenance savings, compared to an equivalent diesel bus.         

Electric school buses run cleaner and quieter, and they’re the best option for districts nationwide. With electric school buses successfully operating in urban, rural and suburban settings – and in every type of climate nationwide – they’re proven to be effective and reliable.         

Learn more about why electric school buses are the right choice here.