Wes Austin, Garth Heutel, and Daniel Kreisman for the Brookings Institution:
More than 25 million students in the United States—more than half of all students—ride a school bus. Although the iconic vehicle may conjure images of nostalgia for many, the use of diesel fuel and an aging fleet mean these buses are some of the most polluting vehicles on the road. New research is piling up demonstrating the causal link between short- and long-term exposure to air pollution, especially particulate matter, on cognitive functioning and even the risk of dementia. One might begin to wonder about the effects of pollution from school buses on children, who are highly sensitive to dirty air.
The Metro Atlanta Policy Lab for Education (MAPLE) partners with Atlanta area school districts and other stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of existing education programs and policies, design and test creative policy solutions, and boost their capacity to interpret the evidence. By working collaboratively in an evidence-rich environment, we can find scalable and cost-effective solutions that will boost student success and strengthen our communities.