WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter helped pass the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act. This legislation, which the Congresswoman cosponsored, included an amendment from Shea-Porter that provides funding for renewable energy investments in schools. The bill passed the House 275 – 155.
“This bill will help boost our local economy and provide our children with a better learning environment,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “I am pleased that my amendment was included in the final version of the House bill and I will continue to support legislation that addresses our school’s energy needs.”
The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act was amended last Congress by Shea-Porter along with several other lawmakers. Congresswoman Shea-Porter worked with Congressman Paul Hodes, Michael Arcuri, and Peter Welch on the amendment.
The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public Schools Facilities Act (H.R. 2187) will:
· authorize $6.4 billion for school facilities projects for fiscal year 2010, and ensures that school districts will quickly receive funds for school modernization, renovation, and repairs that create healthier, safer, and more energy-efficient teaching and learning climates;
· allocate the same percentage of funds to school districts that they receive under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, except that it guarantees each such district a minimum of $5,000;
· requires the majority of funds (100 percent by 2015) to be used for projects that meet green building standards;
· allow states to reserve one percent of funds to administer the program and to develop a statewide database of school facilities, including their modernization and repair needs, energy use, carbon footprints, and an energy efficiency quality plan;
· requires school districts to publicly report the educational, energy and environmental benefits of projects, how they comply with the green building requirements, and the percentage of funds used for projects at low-income, rural and charter schools, and
· will require the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to disseminate best practices in school construction and to provide technical assistance to states and school districts regarding best practices.