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H.R. 3021 (110th): 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 12, 2007 (Introduced).


I

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3021

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 12, 2007

(for himself, Mr. George Miller of California, and Mr. Kildee) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Education to make grants and low-interest loans to local educational agencies for the construction, modernization, or repair of public kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational facilities, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the 21st Century High-Performing Public School Facilities Act.

2.

Table of contents

The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.

Sec. 2. Table of contents.

Sec. 3. Findings.

Sec. 4. Definitions.

Title I—21st Century High-Performing Public School Facilities

Subtitle A—Grants for construction, modernization, or repair of school facilities

Sec. 101. Grants.

Sec. 102. Allocation of funds.

Sec. 103. Priority; criteria for awarding grants.

Sec. 104. Authorized matching requirement.

Sec. 105. Allowable uses of funds.

Sec. 106. Application for grant.

Subtitle B—Low-interest loans for construction, modernization, or repair of school facilities

Sec. 111. Low-interest loans.

Sec. 112. Revolving fund.

Subtitle C—General provisions

Sec. 121. Impermissible uses of funds.

Sec. 122. Supplement, not supplant.

Sec. 123. Maintenance of effort.

Sec. 124. Special rule.

Sec. 125. Fair wages.

Sec. 126. Reporting.

Sec. 127. Authorization of appropriations.

Title II—Educational Technology Funding

Sec. 201. Educational technology funding.

3.

Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1)

The average public school building was built in the early 1960’s.

(2)

Of the Nation’s public school buildings, at least one-third need extensive repair or replacement and two-thirds have troublesome environmental conditions such as the presence of asbestos or lead in water and paint.

(3)

In its 2005 report card on the Nation’s physical infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our schools a D.

(4)

The Nation’s public schools need hundreds of billions of dollars in construction, modernization, and repair to bring them up to modern structural, educational (including educational technology and educational technology infrastructure), and health standards.

(5)

Improving the quality of public elementary and secondary school facilities to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and up-to-date technologically will help students improve their academic performance and will improve teacher retention.

(6)

Improving the quality of public elementary and secondary school facilities is a matter of national importance, and the Federal government must do more to help States and school districts fulfill their responsibilities in this area.

4.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

The term Bureau-funded school has the meaning given to such term in section 1141 of the Education Amendments of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 2021).

(2)

The term charter school has the meaning given such term in section 5210 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7221i).

(3)

The term local educational agency

(A)

has the meaning given to that term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801); and

(B)

includes any public charter school that constitutes a local educational agency under State law.

(4)

The term outlying area

(A)

means the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and

(B)

includes the freely associated states of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

(5)

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Education.

(6)

The term State means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

I

21st Century High-Performing Public School Facilities

A

Grants for construction, modernization, or repair of school facilities

101.

Grants

Each fiscal year, the Secretary of Education shall make grants to local educational agencies in each State for the purpose of constructing, modernizing, or repairing public kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational facilities that are safe, healthy, high-performing, and up-to-date technologically.

102.

Allocation of funds

(a)

Reservation

From the amount appropriated to carry out this subtitle for each fiscal year pursuant to section 127, the Secretary shall reserve 1 percent of such amount, consistent with the purpose described in section 101—

(1)

to provide assistance to the outlying areas; and

(2)

for payments to the Secretary of the Interior to provide assistance to Bureau-funded schools.

(b)

Allocation of grants

(1)

State-by-State allocation

From the amount appropriated to carry out this subtitle for each fiscal year pursuant to section 127, and not reserved under subsection (a), the Secretary shall reserve for grants to local educational agencies in each State an aggregate amount in proportion to the aggregate amount received by all local educational agencies in the State involved under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) for the previous fiscal year relative to the total amount received by all local educational agencies in every State under such part for such fiscal year.

(2)

Within-State Allocation

From the amount reserved for grants to local educational agencies in a State under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall reserve for grants to local educational agencies in the State that are receiving assistance under section 1124A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6334) an aggregate amount that is at least in proportion to the aggregate amount received by such local educational agencies under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) for the previous fiscal year relative to the total amount received by all local educational agencies in the State under such part for such fiscal year.

103.

Priority; criteria for awarding grants

(a)

Priority

In awarding grants to local educational agencies under this subtitle, the Secretary shall give priority to local educational agencies with greater—

(1)
(A)

numbers of children counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6333(c)); or

(B)

percentages of children served who are counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6333(c)); and

(2)

need for school construction, modernization, or repair, as demonstrated by the condition of the public school facilities.

(b)

Criteria

In awarding grants to local educational agencies under this subtitle, the Secretary shall also consider the following criteria:

(1)

The fiscal capacity of a local educational agency to meet its needs for construction, modernization, and repair of public school facilities without assistance under this subtitle, including the ability of the local educational agency to raise funds through the use of local bonding capacity and otherwise.

(2)

In the case of a local educational agency that proposes to fund a construction, modernization, or repair project for one or more public charter schools, the extent to which the schools have access to funding for the project through the financing methods available to other public schools or local educational agencies in the State.

(3)

The likelihood that the local educational agency will maintain, in good condition, any facility whose construction, modernization, or repair is assisted under this subtitle.

(4)

The local educational agency’s plan to obtain private business contributions described in section 1397E(d)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1397E(d)(2)(B)), except that an otherwise qualified local educational agency shall not be denied a grant as a result of its inability to obtain such contributions despite its good faith efforts.

104.

Authorized matching requirement

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall require a local educational agency to contribute matching funds toward the costs of the program to be carried out with a grant received by the agency under this subtitle.

(b)

Match amount

The Secretary shall establish the amount of matching funds to be provided by a local educational agency under this section by using a sliding scale that takes into account the relative poverty of the population served by the local educational agency.

(c)

Determination of amount contributed

The Secretary shall allow a local educational agency to satisfy the requirement of this section through in-kind contributions.

105.

Allowable uses of funds

A local educational agency receiving a grant under this subtitle may use the grant for the following:

(1)

Repair or modernization of public school facilities to ensure the health and safety of students and staff, including—

(A)

repairing, replacing, or installing roofs, electrical wiring, plumbing systems, sewage systems, windows, or doors;

(B)

repairing, replacing, or installing heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems (including insulation); and

(C)

bringing public schools into compliance with fire and safety codes.

(2)

Modifications necessary to make public school facilities accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), except that such modifications shall not be the primary use of the grant.

(3)

Asbestos abatement or removal from public school facilities.

(4)

Implementation of measures designed to reduce or eliminate human exposure to lead-based paint hazards though methods including interim controls, abatement, or a combination of each.

(5)

Upgrading or installation of educational technology and educational technology infrastructure to ensure that students have access to up-to-date educational technology.

(6)

Upgrading school facilities to make them energy-efficient.

(7)

Construction of new school facilities that ensure the health and safety of students and staff, are energy-efficient, and include up-to-date educational technology and educational technology infrastructure, including where such construction is economically or otherwise more feasible than large scale modernization or repair of existing facilities.

106.

Application for grant

(a)

Applications required

A local educational agency desiring to receive a grant under this subtitle shall submit an application to the Secretary as such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require.

(b)

Application contents

Each application described in subsection (a) shall contain—

(1)

an assurance that the application was developed in consultation with parents, classroom teachers, and principals;

(2)

a description of the overall condition of the local educational agency’s school facilities, including health and safety problems;

(3)

a description of the capacity of the local educational agency’s schools to house current and projected enrollments;

(4)

a description of the extent to which the local educational agency’s schools offer the physical infrastructure, including for educational technology, needed to provide all students a high-quality education;

(5)

a description of the improvements to be supported with funds provided under this subtitle;

(6)

a cost estimate of the proposed improvements;

(7)

an identification of other resources that are available to carry out the activities for which funds are requested under this subtitle; and

(8)

such other information and assurances as the Secretary may reasonably require.

B

Low-interest loans for construction, modernization, or repair of school facilities

111.

Low-interest loans

(a)

Authority and conditions for loans

Each fiscal year, the Secretary shall make low-interest loans to local educational agencies for the construction, modernization, or repair of public kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational facilities that are safe, healthy, high-performing, and up-to-date technologically.

(b)

Priority; Criteria for approving loans

(1)

Priority

In making loans under this subtitle, the Secretary shall give priority to local educational agencies described in section 103(a).

(2)

Criteria

In making loans under this subtitle, the Secretary shall also consider the criteria specified in section 103(b).

(c)

Allowable uses of funds

A local educational agency receiving a loan under this subtitle may use the loan for any of the activities described in section 105.

(d)

Amount and conditions of loans

In making loans under this subtitle, the Secretary shall ensure that—

(1)

the amount of a loan does not exceed the total construction, modernization, or repair costs involved, as determined by the Secretary; and

(2)

the loan is secured in such manner and must be repaid within such period, not exceeding 30 years, as may be determined by the Secretary.

112.

Revolving fund

(a)

Establishment

There is established in the Treasury a revolving fund to be known as the School Construction, Modernization, and Repair Revolving Fund (in this section referred to as the revolving fund).

(b)

Contents of fund

The revolving fund shall consist of—

(1)

any amounts derived from the loan program carried out under this subtitle; and

(2)

any amounts appropriated to carry out this subtitle pursuant to section 127.

(c)

Availability

The revolving fund shall be available to the Secretary, in amounts specified in appropriations Acts and without fiscal year limitation, to carry out this subtitle.

C

General provisions

121.

Impermissible uses of funds

No funds received under this title may be used for—

(1)

payment of maintenance costs; or

(2)

stadiums or other facilities primarily used for athletic contests or exhibitions or other events for which admission is charged to the general public.

122.

Supplement, not supplant

A local educational agency receiving a grant under subtitle A or a loan under subtitle B shall use such Federal funds only to supplement and not supplant the amount of funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be available for construction, modernization, and repair of public kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational facilities.

123.

Maintenance of effort

A local educational agency may receive a grant under subtitle A or a loan under subtitle B for any fiscal year only if the Secretary finds that either the combined fiscal effort per student or the aggregate expenditures of the agency and the State involved with respect to the provision of free public education by the agency for the preceding fiscal year was not less than 90 percent of the combined fiscal effort or aggregate expenditures for the second preceding fiscal year.

124.

Special rule

Each local educational agency receiving a grant under subtitle A or a loan under subtitle B shall ensure that, if the agency carries out construction, modernization, or repair through a contract, the process for any such contract ensures the maximum number of qualified bidders, including small, minority, and women-owned businesses, through full and open competition.

125.

Application of GEPA

The grant program under subtitle A and the loan program under subtitle B are applicable programs (as that term is defined in section 400 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1221)) subject to section 439 of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1232b).

126.

Reporting

(a)

Reports by local educational agencies

Not later than December 31 of each fiscal year, each local educational agency receiving a grant under subtitle A or a loan under subtitle B shall submit to the Secretary a report on the agency’s use of such grant or loan funds.

(b)

Reports by Secretary

Not later than December 31 of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate a report on grants and loans made under this title, including the Secretary’s efforts pursuant to sections 103(a) and 111(b)(1), the types of construction, modernization, and repair funded, and the number of students impacted, including the number of students counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6333(c)).

127.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

In general

To carry out subtitles A, B, and C of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated $6,400,000,000 for fiscal year 2008 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012.

(b)

Allocation

Of the amount appropriated pursuant to this section for each fiscal year—

(1)

not less than 85 percent shall be reserved to carry out subtitle A; and

(2)

not more than 15 percent may be reserved to carry out subtitle B.

II

Educational Technology Funding

201.

Educational technology funding

Section 2404(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6754(a)) is amended to read as follows:

(a)

In general

To carry out subparts 1 and 2, there are authorized to be appropriated $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2008.

.