Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) in introducing legislation to fund $100 billion in direct grants and school construction bonds over the next decade to repair and modernize schools. The Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2019 reduces the $38 billion annual gap in funding for necessary school repair, renovation and construction. These school infrastructure projects will spur an estimated 1.9 million new jobs, boosting local economies across the nation while advancing educational opportunities for students.
“We can’t expect our children to reach their full learning potential in schools that are falling apart. Schools in Nevada’s rural communities as well as our urban centers are in desperate need of federal dollars to meet minimum standards for health and safety,” Senator Cortez Masto said. “We are failing our students and our teachers by refusing to invest in modern infrastructure and innovative classroom learning tools that strengthen our kids’ learning. This $100 billion investment is a critical first step to provide a quality education to each and every student in Nevada.”
This legislation was also cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The Rebuild America’s Schools Act awards competitive grants to schools based on need for repair and renovation of learning facilities. States must provide 10 percent in matching funds from school districts. The bill mandates a comprehensive study of the physical condition of public schools at least once every five years to ensure schools are meeting minimum standards of health and safety. School districts must also deliver a 10-year facilities master plan within 180 days of earning the grant. The grants require a gradual move towards 100 percent green building practices by fiscal year 2024.