Letter to the House supporting the 21st Century High-Performing Public School Facilities Act
June 02, 2008
On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA) we urge your support for the 21st Century High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (H.R. 3021), scheduled for possible floor action this week. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.
This important legislation provides $6.4 billion in federal grants to help states and local school districts repair and modernize public schools from coast to coast - essential to equipping America's students to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century. Compliance with the U.S. Green Building Council's standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) would be encouraged. Decision-making would remain at the local level.
Equally important, the legislation would provide an economic stimulus that helps create more than 100,000 new jobs for people who design and build schools - everyone from roofing contractors and construction workers to architects and engineers. (Please see the attached chart showing state by state estimates of funding allocations and jobs created under this bill).
The average American school was built half a century ago. As a result, too many of our children attend overcrowded schools housed in buildings with leaky roofs, faulty electrical systems, and outdated technology. Communities cannot build schools fast enough to accommodate growing student populations.
Again, we urge your support for this important legislation will help states and local school districts stretch their limited resources, continue essential education programs, equip America's students to succeed in the 21st century, encourage schools to become more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, and help create more than 100,000 new jobs in construction-related services.
Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations
Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy