January 17, 2018

Cortez Masto Urges Trump Administration to Bolster Public School Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to rebuild and modernize public schools, boost student achievement, and grow the nation’s economy, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in a bipartisan effort to urge President Trump to create a federal-state partnership to invest in the infrastructure of the nation’s public schools.

The senators say public schools are essential to the fabric of our communities and investing in 21st Century schools should be a key piece of a bipartisan infrastructure proposal.

In a bipartisan letter sent to the White House today, Senator Cortez Masto and 24 of her Senate colleagues note, “Safe, healthy, modern, well-equipped schools are essential for advancing student achievement and for ensuring that the next generation can achieve the American Dream and meet the economic, social, environmental, and global challenges our nation faces.”

In their letter to President Trump, the senators state, “The federal government should consider partnering with states on innovative financing mechanisms to help every community ensure their schools are safe, healthy, and modern, particularly in low-income and rural school districts where the need is often most profound. This is the right thing to do for students, educators, and communities. It is also a smart investment, since it will give a needed boost to our economy by creating local jobs in every community across the country. According to a recent economic analysis, every $1 billion dollars invested in construction creates nearly 18,000 jobs. That means, for example, that a federal investment in school infrastructure of $100 billion would yield an estimated 1.8 million jobs.”

The full text of the letter can be found HERE and below:

January 17, 2018 

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Improving our nation’s physical infrastructure is the linchpin for growing our economy, securing our communities, and ensuring that we remain competitive globally. Our nation’s public schools are critical infrastructure. They are key facilities in almost every community, essential to a competitive economy, and are often one of the largest investments state and local governments make.

Indeed, safe, healthy, modern, well-equipped schools are essential for advancing student achievement and for ensuring that the next generation can achieve the American Dream and meet the economic, social, environmental, and global challenges our nation faces. Yet, too many of the over 50 million students and six million staff who learn and work in our public schools spend their days in facilities that fail to make the grade. A 2014 Department of Education study estimated that it would cost $197 billion to bring all public schools into “good” condition. An independent review, the 2016 State of Our Schools report, estimates that we underfund capital investments in our school buildings by $38 billion per year.

To address this crisis, the federal government should consider partnering with states on innovative financing mechanisms to help every community ensure their schools are safe, healthy, and modern, particularly in low-income and rural school districts where the need is often most profound. This is the right thing to do for students, educators, and communities. It is also a smart investment, since it will give a needed boost to our economy by creating local jobs in every community across the country. According to a recent economic analysis, every $1 billion dollars invested in construction creates nearly 18,000 jobs. That means, for example, that a federal investment in school infrastructure of $100 billion would yield an estimated 1.8 million jobs.

We believe this investment is an essential piece of a national infrastructure plan and stand ready to work with you to make sure it is a feature of any comprehensive infrastructure bill that makes it to your desk.