WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP), announced the introduction of the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, legislation she helped introduce that would invest $130 billion in modernizing classrooms across the country and help schools upgrade their physical and digital infrastructure.
“Congress must do more to help school districts across the nation that are facing severe financial strain due to the pandemic,” said Senator Rosen. “By investing in our schools’ infrastructure needs, we can ensure that our students and teachers can return to in-person learning in a safe environment that helps them thrive. I will continue fighting for Nevada’s students, educators, and schools during this unprecedented crisis.”
BACKGROUND: Specifically, the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act would:
- Invest $100 billion in grants and $30 billion in bond authority targeted at public schools with high need and facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff;
- Create over 2 million jobs based on an Economic Policy Institute analysis that each $1 billion spent on construction creates 17,785 jobs;
- Allocate 2021 program dollars on an emergency basis to aid in safely reopening public schools in line with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) public health guidelines—such as for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
- Require states to develop comprehensive state-wide public databases on the condition of public-school facilities; most states do not track school facility conditions and would provide much-needed insight into the condition of our public schools; and
- Expand access to high-speed broadband to ensure that public schools have the reliable and high-speed Internet access they need for digital learning.
The Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act is led by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators: Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI),
Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor Committee, has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.