Biodiesel Use Incentives for School – West Virginia

Date: 21 Nov 2008 | posted in: agriculture, Energy, environment | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

West Virginia state law provides a financial incentive for schools to fuel their bus fleets with alternative fuels. Under the state school aid formula, counties receive about 85 cents for every dollar in transportation costs. By switching to alternative fuels like biodiesel blends or compressed natural gas [CNG], the reimbursement increases to 95 cents.

At this writing information for the 2004-05 year was unavailable. During the 2003-04 year, three of West Virginia’s 55 counties used alternative fuels in their school bus fleets. Two districts, Marion and Monongalia, were using 20 percent biodiesel blends in 100% of their buses. The other, Wood, used CNG in a few of their buses.

The additional allowance provided under the state aid funding formula was $70,509 for Marion, $105,420 for Monongalia and $1,384 for Wood. The education department is encouraging all school transportation directors to switch to biodiesel blends.


Full Text of the Relevant West Virginia Education Finance Provisions Related to Alternative Fuels

§18-9A-7. Foundation allowance for transportation cost.

Theallowance in the foundation school program for each county for transportation shall be the sum of the following computations:

(1)Eighty-five percent of the transportation cost within each high-density county and ninety percent of the transportation cost within each low-density county for maintenance, operation and related costs, exclusive of all salaries: Provided, That for any county that uses an alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas or other acceptable alternative fuel for the operation of all or any portion of its school bus system, the allowance in the foundation school program for the county for that portion of its school bus system shall be ninety-five percent of the transportation cost for maintenance, operation and related costs, exclusive of all salaries, incurred by the use of the alternatively fueled school buses: Provided, however, That any county using an alternative fuel and qualifying for the additional allowance shall submit a plan regarding the intended future use of alternatively fueled school buses;

(2) The total cost, within each county, of insurance premiums on buses, buildings and equipment used in transportation: Provided, That the premiums were procured through competitive bidding;

(3) An amount equal to eight and one-third percent of the current replacement value of the bus fleet within each county as determined by the state board. The amount shall only be used for the replacement of buses. Buses purchased after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, that are driven one hundred eighty thousand miles, regardless of year model, will be subject to the replacement value of eight and one-third percent as determined by the state board: Provided, That for the school year beginning on the first day of July, two thousand four, only, the allowance in the foundation school program for each county for transportation shall not include an amount for the replacement of buses. In addition, in any school year in which its net enrollment increases when compared to the net enrollment the year immediately preceding, a school district may apply to the state superintendent for funding for an additional bus. The state superintendent shall make a decision regarding each application based upon an analysis of the individual school district’s net enrollment history and transportation needs: Provided, however, That the superintendent shall not consider any application which fails to document that the county has applied for federal funding for additional buses. If the state superintendent finds that a need exists, a request for funding shall be included in the budget request submitted by the state board for the upcoming fiscal year;

(4) Eighty-five percent of the cost of contracted transportation services and public utility transportation within each high-density county and ninety percent of the cost of contracted transportation services and public utility transportation within each low-density county;

(5) Aid in lieu of transportation equal to the state average amount per pupil for each pupil receiving the aid within each county; and

(6)Ninety-five percent of the transportation cost for maintenance, operation and related costs, exclusive of all salaries, for transporting students to and from classes at a multicounty vocational center

The total state share for this purpose shall be the sum of the county shares: Provided, That no county shall receive an allowance which is greater than one-third above the computed state average allowance per transportation mile multiplied by the total transportation mileage in the county: Provided, however, That one half of one percent of the transportation allowance distributed to each county shall be for the purpose of trips related to academic classroom curriculum and not related to any extracurricular activity: Provided further, That for the school year beginning on the first day of July, two thousand four, only the transportation allowance of each county shall include an allocation for the purpose of trips related to academic classroom curriculum and not related to any extracurricular activity. The allocation shall equal the amount distributed to the county for this purpose in the school year beginning on the first day of July, two thousand three: And provided further, That any remaining funds credited to a county for the purpose of trips related to academic classroom curriculum during the fiscal year shall be carried over for use in the same manner the next fiscal year and shall be separate and apart from, and in addition to, the appropriation for the next fiscal year: And provided further, That the state board may request a county to document the use of funds for trips related to academic classroom curriculum if the board determines that it is necessary.

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