Magazine article District Administration

American Idle: Reducing Bus Idling Saves Money and Spares the Air

Magazine article District Administration

American Idle: Reducing Bus Idling Saves Money and Spares the Air

Article excerpt

AS ANY K12 EDUCATOR ASSIGNED TO BUS DUTY CAN CONFIRM, choking exhaust fumes can be overwhelming for students and everyone in the area. I remember it well. Unnecessary school bus idling pollutes the air, wastes fuel and causes excess engine wear, and is a health hazard in almost every district. Twenty-four million children spend on average an hour and a half in school buses each weekday, and school buses drive more than four billion miles each year, so the problem is significant.

In the spirit of Carl Vogel's article "Green Light on Energy Use," on making buildings more environmentally friendly, it is therefore appropriate to address environmental concerns outside schools as well. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to implement policies and practices to reduce car and bus idling on school property, as presented through Web sites such as Clean School Bus USA from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus). Districts across the nation are now implementing "no idle" policies, and idle-reduction materials for schools are available through the site.

Other features in this issue include "Picture This," on the exploding uses--and abuses--of digital cameras and cell phone cameras in school districts, and part three of our commissioned study on the buying power of districts, which focuses on curriculum. The research discovered that districts reached by DA spend an amazing $2.95 billion yearly on curriculum. Moreover, 96 percent of readers are "brand builders," whose decisions led to purchasing a specific vendor's products within the past two years, whereas 93 percent are "brand burners," whose opinions led to rejecting specific vendors. In fact, nearly 49 percent of readers built a brand and 39 percent burned a brand in a one-month period, which underscores the need for continuing access to information.

Shared Product Expertise

In addition to keeping up with advertising and product reviews in DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION each month, one of the best ways to gain information for making wise purchase decisions is through the shared expertise in our expanded and searchable online products database. …

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