On Earth Day, Maloney Announces Bill to Create Green Schools, Good-Paying Jobs
Lagrangeville, NY – In celebration of Earth Day, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced legislation at Arlington High School to provide funding to schools to encourage green development of their aging infrastructure. The School Modernization And Revitalization Through (SMART) Jobs Act would authorize funding for the development of green schools, which would encourage energy efficiency and the use of renewables, and create numerous high-skilled jobs in the clean energy industry.
“As a father, I believe we owe it to our children to adopt policies which will preserve our environment and create a healthier world for them to grow,” said Rep. Maloney. “Incentivizing our schools to adopt environmentally-responsible building practices creates a better learning environment for students while creating more good-paying high skilled jobs in the Hudson Valley.”
“Energy conservation and green technology are not only what's best for our environment, but they save crucial dollars that can be used for the education of our students. I have no doubt that, if approved, Congressman Maloney’s proposal for increased federal dollars for green initiative projects will be put to good use by Arlington and many other school districts,” said Dr. Brendan Lyons, Superintendent of Schools for Arlington School District.
“When I read about the Green Schools initiative being put forward by Congressman Maloney, it struck me that our government would be encouraging Arlington and other school districts in our region to demonstrate how it’s possible to save on the bottom line of our early operating costs while also reducing the carbon footprint of our school buildings,” said Jacob Lawrence, science teacher and Energy Education Specialist at Arlington High School. “This bill will offer school districts in our region the opportunity to upgrade the health, safety, and educational environment of our public school buildings.”
Mary Filardo, lead researcher and writer of the report of the 21st Century School Fund, National Council on School Facilities and the Center for Green Schools of the U.S. Green Building Council, said, "The SMART Jobs Act is one critical part of taking care of the nation's public school facilities. A federal contribution to ensure capital investments can be made in the lowest wealth communities is essential to giving all students the opportunity to succeed."
“The neglect of public school buildings and their inability to support education erodes our society’s ability to compete globally. Modern school facilities that meet modern safety standards and the evolving needs of a burgeoning school population are essential. Rep. Maloney’s SMART Jobs would make meaningful steps to address this problem,” said Martin Hight, Senior Manager, Government Relations at American Society of Civil Engineers.
“I’m glad to support the Congressman’s great efforts to support our schools. Schools provide a unique laboratory for young people to learn about energy efficiency in accordance with taking care of our facilities and we applaud and fully support the great work of Congressman Maloney,” said Joe Van De Loo, Executive Director of the New York State Facilities Association.
The SMART Jobs Act will authorize $6.4 billion for the renovation, modernization, and repair of academic facilities using environmentally-sensitive building practices. The majority of funding will be required to be used to promote the use of green building standards. Of the $6.4 billion allocated for construction, $600 million will be designated for public schools in Presidential Declared Disaster Areas still recovering from damage. In addition, it would require school districts to publicly report the educational, energy, health and environmental benefits of projects, how they comply with the green building standards, and the percentage of funds used for projects at low-income, rural and charter schools. It would also require the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to disseminate best practices in school construction and to provide technical assistance to states and school districts regarding best practices. Finally, this legislation would create numerous high-skilled jobs in the clean energy industry and ensure fair wages and benefits for workers by applying the Davis-Bacon protections to all grants.