Shortly after President Obama's visit to the Ft. Hayes campus, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut introduced the Fix America’s Schools Today (FAST) Act into both houses of Congress.
The bill authorizes $25 billion in funds for school renovation and modernization across the country. Ohio could receive more than $900 million in federal funding to modernize and repair its schools if Congress passes this legislation. Columbus City Schools could receive more than $110 million through the FAST Act.
"The FAST Act would help school districts make critical repairs to existing facilities or supplement their current maintenance efforts," said Sen. Brown. "This bill is about jobs-but it’s also about our education and our nation’s future."
Sen. Brown's office estimated that more than 12,000 jobs for Ohio construction workers and skilled laborers would be created through this legislation. Additionally, schools upgraded with FAST Act funds would reduce their districts’ utility costs through energy conservation and efficiency improvements written into the bill.
Forty percent of the bill's $25 billion would go to the 100 largest high-need school districts in the U.S. The remaining funds would be split among state departments of education to administer through competitive grants.
The Columbus Education Association, National PTA, Council for Great City Schools, AFL-CIO, Ohio Federation of Teachers and the Ohio Education Association were the first organizations to immediately endorse the FAST Act.
The average public school building was built 40 years ago. If we put off needed school maintenance and repairs, it will cost our country more than a quarter-trillion dollars. CEA urges you to contact your member of Congress today. Use the CEAmobile app and select "Call to action: The FAST Act" at http://bit.ly/ceamobile to tell your member of Congress to fast-track the FAST Act.