Eco-friendly schools in the works 

House approves $6.4 billion for making schools more energy efficient.

By Source: CNN, Associated Press, Houston Chronicle May 15, 2009

CNN reports, "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 bill "would require that 100 percent of the funds go toward green projects by 2015." Opponents "criticized the high cost and the increasing role of the federal government." CNN notes that the American Federation of Teachers "estimates it would cost almost $255 billion to fully renovate and repair all the schools in the country," while "Rachel Gutter, of the U.S. Green Building Council, says the benefits of an eco-friendly school will pay off economically."

The Associate Press reports the bill had "the ambitious goals of producing hundreds of thousands of jobs, reducing energy consumption and creating healthier, cleaner environments for the nation’s schoolchildren." The bill is H.R. 2187, named the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act.

The Houston Chronicle reports, "The bill, approved on a 275-155 vote, requires that the federal funding be used by 2015 on environmentally friendly ‘green construction’ projects. But Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, tucked an amendment into the bill that would allow local districts to use the funds to rebuild and repair schools after a natural disaster."