Big cash injection for green US schools
by Alan Harten
May 18, 2009
The United States passed a school modernisation bill last Friday in the House of Representatives, that set aside $6.4 billion for updating school buildings to make them more energy efficient and eco friendly.
The piece of legislation also aims to place money into school construction in an effort to create jobs for the needed repairs, and to help combat global warming by placing more clean energy jobs into the market.
The Bill was passed strictly along party lines with a 275-155 vote and will pass onto the Senate where it is expected to be approved due to the change in administration and Obama’s inclusion of school improvement projects into the United States economic stimulus package initiative.
Republicans spoke up against the bill, claiming it comes with too high of a price tag and borrows too much from the federal budget.
Republican Mike Castle from the State of Delaware stated that this will be just another unfunded education program that will never actually work.
Supporters of the bill however advocate that school districts that have poor lighting and an unhealthy air quality make it harder for students to learn since their health is affected.
The bill provides for government grants and loans to schools with a majority of low income students who need to repair facilities and modernise in order to become healthier, energy-efficient buildings that pass the green standards by 2015.
Additionally, the bill allocates money for repair of school districts that were affected in 2005 by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina which is a separate $600 million package.
A similar bill was passed over last year by the Senate after former President W Bush threatened to veto the action.
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