The Kentucky Department of Education has received approximately $12.98 million for project proposals from school districts to purchase about 213 diesel-electric hybrid school buses.

Officials said the goal of the grant is to achieve maximum dispersal of school buses across the state to test the practicality of hybrid technology in all geographic regions and pupil densities as the technology applies to Kentucky.

Projects funded through the grant will assist in documenting the effectiveness of hybrid technology for increasing fuel economy without increasing downtime for maintenance.

Public school districts in Kentucky that own and/or operate school buses to transport students to and from school are eligible to apply for funding through this grant.

The state of Kentucky currently has contracts for 66-passenger school buses with two bus body companies. The buses are fully tested and meet all applicable current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the requirements in the 2011 Kentucky Minimum Specifications for School Buses document.

When a school district takes receipt of a hybrid bus, performance data will be submitted to and tracked on a quarterly basis by the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Officials said the intended results include the purchase of additional hybrid school buses in Kentucky, based on data gathered during the project. A secondary intention is to enable school districts across the nation to make hybrid school bus procurement decisions based on the current, credible performance data from Kentucky.

The number of buses that a district may be awarded is determined by the number of the district's buses when compared to the entire state bus inventory.

The application deadline is Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. EST.

For more information, click here.

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