Holabird Academy students in Baltimore learning
Support the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act of 2023, introduced by Senator Ed Markey (S.2988) and Representative Jamaal Bowman (H.R. 5784)

Our children are our future. We need to invest in 21st century school infrastructure for our youth, which has been neglected and underfunded for too long. The U.S. Department of Education estimated that our nation’s schools need $197 billion to bring all K-12 school buildings in good overall condition. The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act would provide the long overdue investment we need in our school infrastructure to create healthy, efficient, and resilient learning centers that are preparing students for the future. 

Our schools can be teaching our youth how we will transition to a 100% clean-powered society in the next decade. Powering all of our K-12 school buildings with only clean energy will help our country meet its climate protection goals and have the effect of reducing carbon dioxide emissions equal to closing 150 methane power plants. The school infrastructure investments created by this legislation will help our public schools make meaningful progress towards this vision.

The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act of 2023 will create significant investment in public school infrastructure, including: 

  • Investing $446 billion in Climate Capital Facilities Grants to support construction of new zero-carbon schools and healthy green retrofits to existing schools that support, air quality improvements, energy and water efficiency, electrification and decarbonization, energy management, distributed renewable energy generation, and resilience to the impacts of climate change.
  • Securing $40 billion for a Climate Change Resiliency Program for public schools to develop climate resiliency plans and to increase their resilience to climate-change related events, natural disasters, extreme weather events,
  • Creation of an Office of Sustainable Schools within the U.S. Department of Education to administer new grant programs

The Climate Capital Facilities Grants would provide the resources that our public schools desperately need for our youth to get the healthy, safe, and resilient learning environments they deserve. These funds will:

  • Prioritize underfunded schools by covering two-thirds of retrofit costs for the highest-need third of schools and fund one-third of retrofit costs for the middle and top thirds, including a mix of grant funding and no- or low-interest loans; 
  • Support air and water quality improvements that include removal toxic materials such as mold and asbestos;
  • Eliminate carbon emissions with a combination of energy efficiency upgrades and electrification, on-site renewable energy installation, and green power procurement; 
  • Fund a broad spectrum of resiliency investments, from garden and tree planting to broadband infrastructure and EV charging stations.

Read more about the introduction of the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act of 2023 on September 28, 2023 with an endorsement by Generation180