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POLICY (Federal Spending on PK-12 School Facilities)

The 21st Century School Fund has sought to identify all of the federal programs that can be used for PK-12 school facilities modernization and construction. The report analyzes federal spending for PK-12 school facilities through dedicated and allowable federal grants and dedicated and allowable federal tax credits and loans. “For every one thousand dollars that states and local school districts spend on public school buildings improvements paid for through capital outlay, the federal government contributes about 86 cents.”

The U.S. House and Senate introduced bills for a $25 billion investment in PK-12 public school infrastructure to modernize public schools buildings and grounds in September of 2011. The sponsor’s intent is to create jobs, while addressing $270 billion of deferred capital maintenance and repairs. These facility improvements will enable school districts to save energy thereby saving billions in future costs. These bills also include proposals for $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges (including tribal colleges). See Fix America’s Schools Today Act of 2011 in the sidebar.

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