Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) today reintroduced the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, a bill to invest $130 billion to repair, rebuild, and modernize the physical and digital infrastructure of the nation’s school facilities and grounds. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card scored U.S. school infrastructure at just a D+ grade in 2021.
Specifically, the bill—which sponsors estimate will create nearly 2 million jobs—would:
- Create a $100 billion grant program and $30 billion tax credit bond program that would target high-poverty schools with facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff, or that need upgrades for water and energy efficiency, as well as climate resilience and mitigation;
- Support additional manufacturing jobs by ensuring that projects use U.S.-made iron, steel, and manufactured products
- Develop a much-needed database on the condition of public school facilities; and
- Address the digital divide by improving high-speed broadband access that public schools need for digital learning.
In response to the bill’s introduction, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“Students need to learn—and teachers and staff deserve to work—in a safe, modern, and healthy environment. Sadly, too many students, teachers, and staff work in schools that fall far short of providing such an environment. The Rebuild America’s Schools Act would help districts around the country move their schools into the 21st century while creating and supporting good union jobs. We urge swift passage of this bill.”