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House OKs $6.4 billion to make schools greener

May 15, 2009

Northfield School of Arts & Technology (ARTech) pictured with their solar PV panels

Northfield School of Arts & Technology (ARTech) pictured with their solar PV panels

WASHINGTON (CNN)—The House on Thursday passed a $6.4 billion school modernization bill that would commit funds for the construction and update of more energy-efficient school buildings. The measure passed 275-155 in a largely party-line vote, and will now move to the Senate for further review.

The legislation, according to the House Education and Labor Committee, also makes schools part of the effort to revive the U.S. economy and fight global warming by “creating clean energy jobs that will help put workers in hard-hit industries back to work.” The committee says the bill would require that 100 percent of the funds go toward green projects by 2015, which is the final year of funding under the bill.

“All students and teachers deserve safe and healthy learning environments, but too often, their schools are literally falling apart,” said Rep. George Miller, D-California, who is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and one of the bill’s sponsors. “This legislation is a victory for students, workers and our planet. It will help improve educational opportunities and boost student achievement, it will help transition us toward a green economy by making our classrooms more environmentally friendly,” he said.

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