The following is the outcome of our Green Schools, Green Job Training, and Green Education proposal as relfected in the new stimulus bill signed by President Obama earlier this week:
1. Green Education: No requested funding included. However, the bill does include $2 billion for the National Science Foundation to “expand employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness.” NSF will decide how these funds will be spent.
2. Green Job training: $500 million for a program of competitive grants for “worker training and placement projects that prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy as described in the Green Jobs Act of 2007”. This is a huge win, and congratulations to Green for All and Apollo Alliance for all the great work they did to help make this happen!
3. Green School Buildings: Despite the fact that both the House and Senate stimulus bills included billions for greening school buildings, these funds were eliminated in the final bill. However, $9.76 billion of the Stabilization Fund for States is allocated for “public safety and other government services, which may (underline added) include assistance for…modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities and institutions of higher education facilities, including modernization, renovation, and repairs that are consistent with a recognized green building rating system”. (See Title XIV-State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for details). So Governors may use some of their share of this $10 billion for green school buildings if they so choose – but the pressure to spend all these funds for other authorized purposes will be fierce.
Thank you all for your assistance and support with our effort to help move funds into these critical areas. We will continue to work hard to get education and specified green building funds into both the FY10 budget and a second stimulus bill if there is one.