Chispa Maryland asks Baltimore County to Transition to Electric School Buses

CHISPA team photo in front of the Baltimore County Public Schools office.

Chispa Maryland staff and volunteers, including Lucia Islas (third from left) and Eliseo Magos (right), at the June 13 Baltimore County Board of Education meeting.

Chispa Maryland asks Baltimore County to Transition to Electric School Buses

On June 13, Chispa Maryland staff and volunteers testified at the Baltimore County’s Board of Education meeting to encourage the county to move from polluting diesel buses to clean electric school buses.

“Today I am joined by mothers of students from Baltimore County who are concerned about the air their children are breathing,” testified Eliseo Magos Gonzalez, a community organizer with Maryland LCV’s Chispa Maryland Program. “They know that diesel school buses emit dangerous pollutants that kids breathe into their developing lungs, and that these pollutants can cause respiratory illnesses and aggravate asthma.”

According to Chispa volunteer Lucia Islas, a mother of a Baltimore County eighth-grader, “…a child riding in a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to 15 times the level of toxic diesel exhaust as someone  riding in a car. For Black and Latino children – who are more  likely to have asthma than their white peers – riding in diesel  school buses is especially harmful.”

Lucia and Eliseo encouraged the school board to commit to transitioning its entire fleet of school buses from diesel to electric, and to take advantage of existing and emerging funding opportunities to speed that transition, including the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program and Maryland’s Electric School Bus Pilot Program.

You can help protect the health of Maryland’s school children by encouraging your local school board to make the transition to clean, electric school buses. Check here to see if your county has the opportunity to take advantage of the EPA’s 2023 Clean Bus Program – and if so, please take action today!