Grant money made it possible for one local school district to acquire new transportation services.
Superintendent Kevin Dyes said the Central High school district purchased a new route bus through two grants they received.
According to Dyes, the DERA (Diesel Emissions Reduction Act) grant allows them to take old and dirty buses off the road.
“We had an older diesel bus that qualified,” Dyes said. “Basically, if you sell those you might get $1,000 — maybe $1,500, just old worn out diesel bus, (but) through this grant program, they take it and make sure that it’s taken off the road, and we qualify for an $18,000 grant for a brand new bus.”
The district upgraded to a cleaner running bus model.
“We replaced that diesel bus with a gasoline bus that’s cleaner running — brand new model,” Dyes said.
According to Dyes, because they received below the state average for COVID-19 funding, this made it possible for the district to qualify to write a grant with the Chickasaw Nation.
Dyes said the grant helped pay for the rest of the bus cost and they used the rest of the money for technology.
“Those two things together were the two grants that we wrote,” Dyes said.
With the DERA grant for $18,000 and the Chickasaw Nation grant for $77,000, the district purchased the bus and will put remaining funds toward the needs of the students, with no cost to the taxpayer.
According to Dyes, the district had been in need of another school bus for a while.
Dyes said they are really thankful for the opportunity to qualify for the available funding.
“Really thankful for the Chickasaw Nation,” Dyes said. “We just kind of fell into the opportunity to write that grant. It’s really helpful, it’s going to be helpful to our students and helpful to the district.”