The so-called “squad” member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is set to introduce a “Green New Deal for Public Schools” in the House on Friday, which would cost $1.43 trillion over ten years.
The far-left Democrat’s proposal would spend $446 billion on Climate Capital Facilities Grants toward retrofitting the nation’s public school buildings. It would also give major investments in expanding social services and provide a curriculum upgrade in school districts with low-income communities.
The proposal would also include: $250 billion in Resource Block Grants, to help “fund staffing increases, expanded social service programming, and curriculum development at high-need schools”; $100 million for an Educational Equity Planning Grants Pilot Program which will “encourage neighboring Local Education Agencies to form regional consortia”; and $695 billion over 10 years for Title I and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) increases.
The plan would create an Office of Sustainable Schools within the Department of Education. The Washinton Post reported the new entity would work with the Energy Department to make schools more energy efficient. The funds would also help “cover climate resilience efforts such as building out broadband infrastructure and EV charging stations, and garden and tree planting.”
“Schools are the best epicenter to be leaders in what climate infrastructure should look like, in terms of sustainable energy, in terms of renewable energy, and in terms of energy sharing,” said Bowman in an interview with the Post.
“In terms of how we support the social, emotional and economic needs for students and families within a particular community to prepare for the challenges of climate change — our schools are not doing any of that at this moment,” he added.
Bowman said the Biden White House is “very receptive and very excited” when he has talked to them about the proposal to cut in half the greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The proposal has attracted 22 co-sponsors, including some of the notable far-left members such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
However, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said to reporters that the caucus’s support “is not guaranteed until we see how our priorities fit into the framework” of the reconciliation deal.