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Press Release


May 14, 2009


Cynthia Leonor Garza


Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On House Passage of Bill Promoting Green, Sustainable Schools

The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (H.R. 2187) would help create safe, modern and energy-efficient learning environments that are important to raising student performance.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives passed "green" legislation today that will address two pressing issues confronting American public schools: deteriorating learning environments and the burden of high energy costs.

The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act will establish incentives to repair deteriorating schools and build high-performing schools based on green and sustainable principles. Energy-efficient construction will mean significant savings for school districts and the creation of well-paying construction jobs.

A 2008 AFT study, "School Infrastructure Funding Need: A State-by-State Assessment and an Analysis of Recent Court Cases," showed that repairing school infrastructure will require a significant infusion of money. By providing $6.4 billion annually, H.R. 2187 begins to provide the resources needed to make this happen.

The AFT strongly supports the goal of promoting green schools, which has a tremendously positive impact on student performance, school operational costs and staff attrition. The AFT urges the U.S. Senate to join the House and pass similar legislation in the near future.


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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.