This week, Democratic Members of Congress introduced the Rebuild America's Schools Act of 2017 (H.R. 2475). The legislation would provide grants to school districts (prioritizing them for schools in underserved communities), create a new school infrastructure bond program, expand the existing Qualified Zone Academy Bonds program, promote green building design, and support digital infrastructure.
NSBA's letter to Ranking Member Robert C. "Bobby" Scott of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce states that, "The Rebuilding America's Schools Act would address many priorities for safe and healthy learning environments that facilitate interactive classroom instruction, build capacity for experiential learning and skills development, engage our students and communities as cornerstones for civic participation, and promote efficiencies within school district operating budgets." However, the letter also expresses strong opposition to the bill's provisions for labor/wage rates that would impact local governance. NSBA urges Congress to uphold the right of school boards to pursue the most efficient and cost-effective means of delivering education and related services, including contracts with outside providers.
NSBA looks forward to working with the Committee to address concerns with the bill and support school infrastructure. As Congress considers proposals for national infrastructure investments, H.R. 2475 helps address the inclusion of school facilities modernization in this effort.