House Approves $6.4 Billion to Modernize Public Schools: AFSA Urges Senate to Follow Suit

The House of Representatives approved H.R. 3021, the 21st Century Green High Performing Public Schools Act.

Washington, DC, July 10, 2008 --( The House of Representatives approved H.R. 3021, the 21st Century Green High Performing Public Schools Act, and the nation’s only union of school administrators now respectfully calls on the Senate to introduce and pass the measure.

This bill authorizes a significant amount of funding, “$6.4 billion for fiscal year 2009, to be used for the modernization, renovation, and general repairs of schools.” These grants not only seek to reduce the environmentally harmful emissions created by schools, but this bill has the potential to increase student performance.

“It is almost self-evident that public schools need more money,” AFSA International President Jill S. Levy said. “If one were to compare the physical conditions in urban schools, particularly those in low socio-economic areas, and contrast them with suburban schools, charter schools, private schools, and wealthier urban areas, you would witness a large difference.”

In a June 20th letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, President Levy said:

“Twenty million students served by federal education programs across the country are seeing a decline in available resources due to the cost of rising inflation and enrollment growth. It is imperative that Congress take appropriate action to adequately fund our nation’s schools.”

“The provisions outlined in this bill will ensure that education professionals will no longer be forced to reach into their already constrained budgets to perform much needed renovations. This legislation would provide educators and students with a safe environment, without having to sacrifice limited materials and resources.

“Experience demonstrates that a correlation does, in fact, exist between school facility quality and student achievement and teacher retention.”

Because education is not a cost, but rather an investment that more than pays for itself, funding to bring public schools into the 21st century is vital for our children’s future success.

“This legislation is essential in building barrier-free, healthy environments for our students — environments that say, ‘Welcome. You are valued.’,” President Levy said.


Author, Jill S. Levy, International President-AFSA is the national union of education leaders, representing over 20,000 school principals, assistant principals, supervisors and education professionals throughout the nation, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
American Federation of School Administrators
Nicholas J. Spina
(202) 986-4209
1101 17th Street, N.W., Suite 408
Washington, D.C. 20036