Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Budget & Finance

School Infrastructure Spending Plan Introduced by House Democrats

By Andrew Ujifusa — May 17, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Legislation that would direct more than $100 billion into building and upgrading school infrastructure around the country was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the House education committee’s top Democrat.

The Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2017 would be tailored for schools in high-poverty areas, and would direct money to high-speed broadband internet as well as school construction. In a summary of the legislation, Scott and other Democratic lawmakers also said the bill would create 1.9 million jobs—that latter figure is via an estimate from the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that leans left on economic and labor issues.

“We know that poor school facility conditions impact teaching and learning and disproportionately plague schools that serve low-income and minority students,” Scott said in a statement about the bill. “On the anniversary of [the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision from the Supreme Court], we must recommit to fulfilling its decades’ old promise—that all students have access to equal educational opportunity, including equal access to safe and modern learning facilities.”

Democrats also highlighted a 2014 study from the Institute of Education Sciences that schools would need $197 billion to be brought up to good condition. That study was based on a survey of facilities coordinators and others at districts representing 1,800 schools around the country from the 2012-13 school year. The IES survey also found it was an average of 44 years since the construction of the main instructional building at schools.

Scott’s bill would institute $70 billion in federal grants for school infrastructure upgrades and another $30 billion in tax credits for that purpose. However, not all the money would come from Washington. The legislation envisions leveraging additional state and local resources to reach $107 billion. The bill would also create a national database for information about the state of public school facilities.

The legislation has six other Democratic lead co-sponsors in the House, but no Republican lead co-sponsors. In January, Senate Democrats introduced their own $75 billion infrastructure blueprint to improve school infrastructure. The National Council on School Facilities has made its own push for new school infrastructure money.

A significant spending bill backed by Democrats doesn’t necessarily stand a great chance of passing Congress. However, if President Donald Trump’s administration does ultimately craft a detailed infrastructure spending plan, there’s at least a theoretical chance school construction could get a boost in some fashion. Trump has indicated interest in a general infrastructure spending program to the tune of $1 trillion.

Read a fact sheet about the bill below:


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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

Budget & Finance Why Failing to Require Masks Could Cost Districts Millions Later
Some insurance providers are threatening to cancel districts' coverage this school year—particularly if they break statewide mask mandates.
9 min read
Image of a dial that assesses problems, dangers, risks, and liabilities.
iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance Will Teachers Get Vaccinated for $1,000?
More and more districts are offering cash to employees who get vaccinated, hoping that the money will help tamp down COVID-19 spread.
6 min read
Image of a dollar bill folded into an upward arrow.
ImagePixel/iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance Opinion Three Tips for Spending COVID-19 Funds in Evidence-Based Ways
If COVID-19 funds targeted for evidence-based practices are going to deliver, it's crucial to be clear on what evidence is actually helpful.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Budget & Finance How Kids Benefit When Principals Get a Say in Spending Federal COVID-19 Aid
In some districts, principals play a key role in targeting federal pandemic relief money, but in other places they're left out.
8 min read
Nicole Moore, the principal at Indian Mills School, stands near the summer literacy program held in a small lot at Fawn Lake Village in Shamong, New Jersey on July 6, 2021. Moore worked with teachers to develop a summer literacy program for disadvantaged students who live in the district.
Nicole Moore, principal of Indian Mills School, in Shamong, N.J., worked with a teacher and the district superintendent to start a summer program using federal aid for COVID-19 relief.
Eric Sucar for Education Week