HUMBLE, Texas – The national nonprofit Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) surprised teachers at River Pines Elementary School today with a $5,000 donation in recognition of Humble Independent School District’s 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 Humble ISD 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, so school districts can spend more of its operating budget on classroom programs.”
The $5,000 donation will awarded to River Pines Elementary teachers to help buy classroom materials through the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org’s online marketplace for teachers.
The school district first purchased 27 propane buses in 2011 with the help of a $2.9 million grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Parent Teacher Association. In the fall of 2016, $1.1 million of grant money, obtained from TCEQ and Houston Galveston Area Councils, increased the number of propane buses operated by the fleet to 47. About 20 percent of the district’s total school bus fleet is now powered by propane to help transport approximately 12,000 students to and from school daily. Propane school buses at Humble ISD have helped the district save on fuel costs. Propane is $0.80 per gallon compared to $1.80 for a gallon of diesel.
“Humble ISD seeks ways to be good stewards of environmental and economic resources,” J.P. Burd, director of transportation said. “Propane buses are clean and safe, and the cost of fuel is significantly less than diesel.”
The benefits of propane school buses, however, extend beyond the cost of the fuel. Propane school buses are safe because of their quiet and clean operation. Because they are quiet, students don’t have to shout over a noisy engine if they need assistance and drivers can more easily hear what is going on inside the bus, along with the area outside surrounding the bus. Propane school buses emit fewer greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide than older diesel buses, so the air at bus stops is better for students. The World Health Organization classifies diesel exhaust as a carcinogen, and the chemicals it contains can have both short- and long-term health effects on children and drivers, from aggravated asthma to respiratory illnesses.
The trend of propane school bus adoption is growing across the country. 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 partnered with the non-profit AdoptAClassroom.org. Now in its third year, the campaign has donated $75,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.
For more information on propane school buses, including bus safety tips for parents and children, visit BetterOurBuses.com. To donate to teachers in your local community, visit AdoptAClassroom.org.
Propane Education & Research Council
The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. PERC leads safety and training efforts and drives technology development to expand the adoption of propane as a clean, domestic, and affordable energy source. PERC programs benefit a variety of markets including transportation, agriculture, landscaping, residential, and commercial. For more information about propane-powered technologies, equipment incentives, and PERC, visit propanecouncil.org.
AdoptAClassroom.org empowers teachers by providing the classroom supplies and materials needed to help their students learn and succeed. As an award-winning 501(c)(3), AdoptAClassroom.org makes it easy for individual donors and corporate sponsors to donate funds to K-12 classrooms in public, private and charter schools throughout the U.S. On average, teachers spend $600 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms - 20% of teachers spend more than $1,000 annually. Since 1998 AdoptAClassroom.org has raised more than $30million and benefited more than 4.25 million students. AdoptAClassroom.org holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, or to adopt a classroom, please visit www.adoptaclassroom.org.