Green School Building Bill Passes House

The Democrats of the U.S. House of Representatives have passed a bill that would create a green school building program in the U.S., investing more than $6 billion in its first year to build more environmentally friendly schools.
May 18, 2009, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"It passed 275-155, and now goes to the Senate, which did not act after the House passed similar legislation last year."

"...The bill would provide states with money to make grants and low interest loans so school districts could build, modernize and repair facilities to make them healthier, safer and more energy-efficient. The funds would be allotted under a formula based on a district's share of students from low-income families, but the bill guarantees that every district that receives federal money for low-income students will get at least $5,000.

Supporters spoke of the difficulties of trying to learn in buildings with poor lighting, bad air quality, leaking roofs and ill-functioning furnaces. "Thirty-two million children in our country attend schools which are reportedly having environmental problems with their facilities that affect students' health and their learning," said Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from New York.

A majority of the funds - rising to 100 percent by 2015 - would have to be used for projects that meet green standards for construction materials and energy sources. Those include the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System and Energy Star."

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Published on Thursday, May 14, 2009 in NPR
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