February 01, 2019

Senator Hassan Joins Colleagues in Introducing the Rebuild America’s Schools Act

$100 Billion Investment in Upgrading America’s Crumbling Schools, Creating Jobs, and Strengthening Communities

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan this week joined her colleagues in introducing the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, a proposal to invest $100 billion in the physical and digital infrastructure of schools across America. The bill was sponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI).

“All students deserve a safe and healthy environment to learn, grow, and thrive,” Senator Hassan said. “This bill will help provide the next generation with the modern infrastructure they need to succeed in the 21st century’s innovation economy, and will help create good-paying jobs for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans.”  

Currently, the federal government only covers school repair costs in cases of disasters. A 2016 “State of Our Schools” report found that, collectively, the United States is spending $46 billion less annually on school construction and maintenance than is necessary to ensure safe and healthy public school facilities.

This bill, which is being introduced along with an identical bill in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, would provide $100 billion in federal grants and school construction bonds over the next decade to help build and renovate schools. In turn, the bill would create nearly 2 million good-paying jobs.

SUMMARY - The Rebuild America’s Schools Act:

The bill provides formula funds to states for local competitive grants for school repair, renovation, and construction. These grants focus assistance on communities with the greatest financial need, encourage green construction practices, expand access to high-speed broadband to ensure that all students have access to digital learning, contain state matching criteria, and outline permissible criteria for spending. The bill also:

  • Provides $30 billion for Qualified School Infrastructure Bonds (QSIBs), $10 billion each for FY 2020 through FY 2022.
  • Invests in American jobs by requiring the use of American-made iron, steel, and manufactured products.
  • Reinstates and Expands Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) for use on school construction.
  • Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on projects carried out within two years after enactment with periodic updates.
  • Ensures a comprehensive study of the physical condition of public schools at least once every five years.
  • Provides a temporary increase of $170 million for Impact Aid construction.

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