School Bus Refurbishment Update

Maine Military Authority (MMA) has completed its work for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority contract. As part of the process of winding down operations, MMA will no longer be able to contract for school bus refurbishment and has reached out to school districts to inform them of the changes in their operations.

For school bus refurbishment contracts that have been completed, the Maine Department of Education will make subsidy payments.

Further guidance will be available to districts as soon as possible.

The Maine DOE thanks the field for their patience as we work through this change.  Our mutual goal is to ensure safe transportation operations for Maine students. We will collaborate at all levels to achieve this critical goal.

Districts that were considering refurbishment services may be eligible for the Maine school bus purchase program.  An overview of the program is available on the Department website (PDF).

If you have questions about the school bus purchase program or refurbishment, please contact Pat Hinckley, Transportation and Facilities Administrator, at or 207-624-6886.


The State of Maine announces the first round of competitive funding under the VW Environmental Mitigation Settlement Funds

Some public and private schools may have school buses eligible for Maine’s Volkswagen (VW) settlement allocation.  The U.S. District Court in Northern California approved a partial consent decree to settle allegations that VW had installed defective devices on 2.0 and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the United States.  Maine’s VW settlement allocation totals just over $21 million dollars.  Individuals and entities that have an interest in applying for Maine VW Environmental Mitigation Settlement funds are encouraged to submit a completed application.

Key Points

  • Round one application due date is September 15, 2018
  • Eligible school buses include 2009 engine model year or older and class 4 school buses
  • Applicants for funding must use the fillable application form available at:
  • Maine anticipates several application rounds for competitive Appendix D-2 qualifying actions.  Approximately $2million will be distributed to qualifying proponents during round 1; however, the State of Maine reserves the option to adjust the total distribution based on applications received.
  • Decision criteria are included in the application.

Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) is the lead State agency for Maine’s VW settlement.  If you have any questions, please contact Maine Department of Transportation’s Judy Gates by email at , or visit Maine’s VW settlement website:  for more information.

EPA Releases Diesel Emissions Grant Information for Tribal Applicants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the Clean Diesel Tribal Grant Competition, a grant competition for tribal applicants with projects that reduce diesel emissions in high-impact areas. Each applicant may request up to $800,000 in federal funding, with $2.0 million available for the grant competition overall.

Key Points

  • The grant competition will give priority to projects based on significant reduction in diesel emissions and exposure in areas with poor air quality, as well as areas that are exposed to a disproportionately high amount of air pollution from diesel fleets.
  • Eligible applicants for a Clean Diesel Tribal Grant are intertribal consortiums, tribal governments, and Alaskan native villages.
  • Funding may be used for projects involving eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment, which may include:
    • School buses
    • Class 5-Class 8 heavy-duty highway vehicles
    • Locomotive engines
    • Marine engines
    • Nonroad engines, equipment, or vehicles used in construction, cargo handling including at airports and ports, agriculture, mining, or energy production including stationary generators and pumps.


Webinars will be available for applicants to learn more about this grant opportunity. Information regarding webinar time/date, access, links to the webinars, and webinar topics is included below.

  • Webinar dates:
  • Webinar access:
    • Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
    • Access Code: 414-9804#
  • Webinar Topics:
    • Overview of Funding Opportunity: Source, Eligibility
    • Eligible Vehicles, Engines, and Equipment
    • Eligible Projects
    • Cost Share Requirements
    • DERA Option Eligible Mitigation Action for Volkswagen Settlement
    • Funding Restrictions
    • Submission Requirements
    • Evaluation Requirements
    • Tools and Resources
    • Question & Answer Period

If you have any questions, please contact,, or visit the Clean Diesel Tribal Grants web page for more information.

Registration Now Open for 2018 State Custodial and Maintenance Conference

Registration is now open for the 50th Custodial and Maintenance Conference for Maine school custodians and facilities directors.

Location:  Waterville Senior High School, Waterville, Maine

Dates:  Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – Thursday June 28, 2017

2018 Highlights:

  • The Wednesday keynote and motivational speaker will be Lori Lachance, a frequent author and speaker on leadership, education, and the economy of Maine.  Laurie is Thomas College’s 5th President and the first female and alumna to lead the College in its 124-year history.  Laurie previously served as President and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation and served in state government as the Maine State Economist.
  • Thursday’s motivational speaker will be Travis Mills, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and advocate for veterans and amputees.  Travis is founder of the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans.  Travis lives by his motto: “Never give up.  Never quit.”
  • Discussions and meeting topics include:  All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness, Hazardous Chemical Management, Controlling Infections, Viruses and Diseases, School Security, Leadership and How It Impacts Our Schools, Working Safely, Playground Safety and Maintenance, Hazardous Chemical Management Plans, Certification Roundtable, and much more.
  • This year’s conference will include Maine School Integrated Pest Management certification sessions where conference attendees can complete required IPM training delivered by Dr. Kathy Murray from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • The Annual A. Burliegh Oxton Award for Excellence

Download a draft agenda.

To register and find additional resources including pricing, lodging options, further details about registration, including guest registration by contacting Jim Reny of Educational Plant Maintenance Association (EPMA) by phone 861-2351 or email .

School Custodian Award for Excellence Nominations

Each year the Maine Department of Education partners with Educational Plant Maintenance Association of Maine to host the Custodial and Maintenance Conference at Waterville Senior High School.  One highlight of the conference is awarding the A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence for a school custodial maintenance employee.

Please consider honoring a deserving colleague by submitting a nomination for the 2018 the A. Burleigh Oxton Award for Excellence.

The award provides recognition to an individual who demonstrates exemplary job performance, is passionate about maintaining and operating the local school building to ensure clean, safe, and healthy learning and working environment, and serves as a role model for students; a dedicated employee who is known for going the extra mile to help students, staff, and visitors to the facility.

This is an opportunity to showcase your school custodian’s accomplishments and nominate!  The individual selected will receive an award plaque and a $300 college scholarship that will be awarded in their name to a deserving graduate in their district.  The award winner and the three finalists will be invited to attend the 50th Annual Custodial and Maintenance Conference as a special guest.

Applications are being accepted now.  Below you can find the nomination information necessary to begin the this process:

The application due date is June 8, 2018.

For further information contact Maine DOE Transportation and Facilities Administrator, Pat Hinckley at or (207) 624-6886.