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Press Release

NEA: Biden’s infrastructure plan will help health-hazardous public schools

The need to improve our nation’s public-school facilities has never been more acutely apparent
Published: 03/31/2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden today announced the American Jobs Plan, a massive infrastructure plan that would help to rebuild health-hazardous, crumbling and outdated public schools.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:

“While the historic American Rescue Plan provides vital resources to help our schools to recover safely and equitably from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to repair, retrofit and upgrade outdated facilities continues to challenge communities across the country. President Joe Biden understands that we must build back better than what we had before the pandemic, and school construction is a major building block of his plan. We have an unprecedented opportunity to create the public schools and college campuses all students — Black and white, Native and newcomer, Hispanic and Asian alike — need and deserve. Ensuring their school facilities are safe, secure and state-of-the-art are at the center of this vision and mission.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the inequities of every system in America, the need to improve our nation’s public-school facilities has never been more acutely apparent. For far too long, decaying school buildings and the lack of up-to-date technology have been a reality for millions of students and educators. Half our public schools are more than 50 years old, and they were built in a time when windowless classrooms were commonplace, asbestos was used in building materials, and water ran through lead pipes. For students whose school buildings weren’t health hazards, they too have been left isolated in an increasingly interactive and interconnected world without all the equipment and tools necessary for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. These conditions always have made it more difficult for students to learn and for educators to inspire.

“The American Jobs Plan does more than create good-paying union jobs. It also invests in housing, childcare and safe water infrastructure that focuses on neglected communities. And, by investing in public schools — the beating heart of every community — President Biden’s bold plan will power America’s economic recovery and pay dividends down the road. Congress must come together to build this better path forward that creates good jobs, invests in communities and makes America more competitive.” 

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.