The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act passed by the House will invest in our schools in order to boost our economy now and help prepare our children for the jobs of the future.
Congressman Hinojosa praised the bill, “Our schools should be safe and healthy learning environments for our children.”
The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act authorizes over $6 billion in federal funds to upgrade school buildings to make them more energy efficient and more reliant on renewable sources of energy. If fully funded, Texas will receive approximately $620,820,000 in funding; approximately $53 million would be going to schools in the 15th Congressional District. The bill also generates long-term savings for schools by reducing energy expenses. Green schools reduce pollution by using about 30% less water and energy than conventional schools, and emit almost 40% less harmful carbon dioxide.
The bill encourages energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources in schools by:
Requiring the majority of funds (100 percent by 2015) to be used for projects that meet green building standards.
Allowing states to reserve one percent of funds to administer the program and to develop a plan a statewide database of school facilities, including their modernization and repair needs, energy use, carbon footprints, and an energy efficiency quality plan.
Requiring school districts to publicly report the educational, energy and environmental benefits of projects, how they comply with the green building requirements, and the percentage of funds used for projects at low-income, rural and charter schools.