An electric school bus, leased by Beverly Public Schools in Beverly, Massachusetts, rests in a bus yard, Oct. 21, 2021. Credit: Michael Casey / AP

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Since the board of directors of Regional School Unit 20 in Searsport recently rejected the federal government’s offer to rebate most of the cost for new electric buses and charging stations, I have to ask: will Searsport taxpayers now have to purchase or lease the district’s next fleet of fossil fuel buses?

The board of directors’ vote is shortsighted for several reasons.

Simple economics — not saving local taxpayer dollars. Basically the federal government is purchasing the buses and paying for the charging stations. Few local tax dollars are required. Regular maintenance and energy costs are much less for electric buses. This is a missed financial savings opportunity.

Environmental impact — good for the environment. Electric buses are environmentally friendly, diesel buses are not. One now wonders if classroom lessons on climate change ring hollow to students. A school district should be seen as a respected community leader on pressing environmental concerns.

Common sense — practical and reasonable. The comments given for not purchasing the buses seem more like lame excuses rather than legitimate reasons. Other school districts that voted “yes” have resolved similar concerns. Searsport can, too.

Hopefully Regional School Unit 20 will reconsider this shortsighted decision at a future meeting.

Durl Kruse