In his first press conference as president-elect, Barack Obama said today that he would want to see an economic-stimulus package enacted “sooner rather than later.” If Congress doesn’t get the legislation done when it returns for a possible lame duck session in coming weeks, a stimulus will be Obama’s first priority when he assumes control of the White House, he said.
The upshot? This might be great news for districts with decaying school facilities. Congressional leaders have expressed interest in including money for school construction in an economic-stimulus plan.
In fact, Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, and Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, testified in support of the idea at a hearing on Capitol Hill last month.
And earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing school construction, particularly for “green” school buildings.
Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, argued that the program could bolster the flailing construction industry and create jobs. But some Republicans argued that federal resources authorized under that bill would be better spent on existing commitments, such as Title I and special education.
Also at today’s news conference in Chicago, President-elect Obama got a question about which school his daughters will attend when they move to Washington. He said that his wife, Michelle, is “scouting” out schools in the area and that they’ll be making a decision on that in the future. So stay tuned I guess.