East Hawaii News

Sen. Schatz Introduces Legislation to Repair Schools

June 4, 2015, 3:50 PM HST
* Updated June 4, 3:51 PM
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Legislation that would provide federal grants to states and local school districts to help them build, repair, and renovate school facilities was introduced by United States Senator Brian Schatz on Thursday.

Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education introduced the legislation as the School Building Fairness Act of 2015.

“When students are in a safe, well-maintained school environment, it improves their ability to learn and gives them a better shot at success.  Today, a majority of our public schools in Hawai‘i and across the country are in disrepair.  It’s unacceptable,” said Senator Schatz.  “My bill invests in our students, giving states and local school districts the resources to build better schools and better futures for every student.”

An estimated $197 billion is needed nationwide, according to a 2014 report that found that many public schools in the country were in need of modernization or repair.

The office of Senator Schatz said Thursday that despite the clear need and poor conditions of many public schools, the federal funding is generally not available for school facilities.

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Senator Schatz’s School Building Fairness Act is supported by the U.S. Green Building Council, Rebuild America’s School, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the AFL-CIO, Californians for School Facilities, and the Health Schools Network, Inc.

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