PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Volkswagen’s scandal is turning into a boon for Arizona schools.
On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that 55 school districts in the state will be getting new buses after Arizona reached a lawsuit settlement with the emissions-test-cheating automaker.
Around $38 million of the $58 million the state received from Volkswagen was earmarked in part for buses and transportation needs.
Now, the first round of spending is set to kick in, with around $16 million going to lower-income school districts to buy new buses. One hundred and forty-two buses in total will be purchased.
The buses will be classified as “lower emission,” using either diesel or alternative fuels.
One of the districts receiving the funds will be Cartwright Elementary School District in the West Valley. District officials say the new vehicles will be a big deal.
“We would be able to get them, but over a lot of years,” said Cartwright School District Transportation Director Sarah Hernandez. “This is an opportunity to be able to bring five buses into the fleet in brand new condition that we would not have in a normal school year.”
Drivers for the district say they’re looking forward to increased reliability on the roads and upgraded safety features.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for us and for the district to improve our fleet,” said driver Danaly Ruiz.