School Climate & Safety

School Facilities Bill Moves to Senate

By Katie Ash — June 15, 2009 1 min read

A bill awaiting action in the U.S. Senate could set aside up to $6.4 billion in fiscal 2010 for modernization, renovation, and repair projects aimed at producing school facilities that are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

The House passed the bill May 14 on a 275-155 vote, split mostly down party lines with Democratic support and Republican opposition.

“This is landmark legislation, because it’s the first sign that the federal [government] is getting involved in the facilities part of education,” said John K. Ramsey, the executive director and chief executive officer of the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International, or CEFPI, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The bill, HR 2187, would authorize setting aside $32.4 billion for environmentally friendly, or “green,” school modernization, repair, and renovation projects over the next five fiscal years distributed through Title I formulas. It would authorize an additional $100 million for each of those five years for schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“It costs too much. It borrows too much. It controls too much,” U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, said of the bill in a May 6 statement.

But supporters point to the cost savings on energy and the need for modern facilities.

A “green” building can save a typical school enough money in energy costs to hire another full-time teacher, said Andrew Goldberg, the senior director of federal relations for the Washington-based American Institute of Architects, who based his savings estimate on data published in a 2006 report on green schools.

The Senate did not take any action on a similar bill passed by the House last year. And in negotiations over the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in January, the Senate stripped that economic-stimulus package of money specifically for school modernization, repair, and renovation.

Still, facilities experts are hopeful.

“The Senate’s been very noncommittal,” said Mr. Ramsey, from CEFPI. “But we think a bill will get through, although we don’t know what the final form will be.”

A version of this article appeared in the June 17, 2009 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How Schools Can Implement Safe In-Person Learning
In order for in-person schooling to resume, it will be necessary to instill a sense of confidence that it is safe to return. BD is hosting a virtual panel discussing the benefits of asymptomatic screening
Content provided by BD

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Sponsor
Putting safety first: COVID-19 testing in schools
Are schools ready to offer a post-pandemic place to learn?
Content provided by BD
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says Teens Are Driving COVID-19 Surges. Can Schools Counteract That?
Teenagers and young adults are now driving COVID-19 cases in some states, and experts say schools may be critical in preventing outbreaks.
4 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Opinion Empowering Teachers and Parents to Speak Up on School Safety
Rick Hess shares practical suggestions from Max Eden on how to ensure school discipline reforms are indeed keeping students and staff safe.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Climate & Safety Audio Driving the School Bus, Waiting for a Vaccine
A veteran bus driver holds out hope he won't get COVID-19 while awaiting his first vaccination.
3 min read
Eric Griffith, 55, poses for a portrait in front of a school bus in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Griffith, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, delivered meals and educational materials during the first couple months of the coronavirus pandemic when schools shifted to remote learning.
Eric Griffith has been a bus driver for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Fla., for 20 years. He's been driving students all year and hopes to get his coronavirus vaccine soon.
Charlotte Kesl for Education Week