President Barack Obama’s school modernization plan could mean more than $2.8 billion for California’s K-12 education system and another $1.13 billion investment for modernizing facilities at the state’s community colleges, according to a fact sheet release by the White House on Tuesday.
A day after pitching his $447 billion jobs proposal to Congress, Obama traveled to Ohio on Tuesday to focus on how his plan will help rebuild and modernize schools across the country.
The president is proposing to invest $25 billion to modernize at least 35,000 schools nationwide, and another $5 billion for modernization at community colleges. The funds can be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade the technology infrastructure in our schools, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.
The proposal ensures that the nation’s schools in need of most repair can make necessary enhancements, by dedicating $10 billion toward 100 of the largest local education agencies. LAUSD, the largest public school system in California and the second largest public school district in the nation is on that list and stands to receive $743 million.
The school modernization funds are part of the president’s larger American Jobs Act, a bill designed to jumpstart economic growth and job creation. The money would fund a range of critical repairs and needed renovation projects that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans – construction workers, engineers, maintenance staff, boiler repair and electrical works – back to work, according to the Obama Administration. The $2.8 billion investment for California’s K-12 school infrastructure is expected to create 36,000 construction jobs.
The president’s spending plan faces an ongoing political fight in Congress. On Monday, Obama proposed offsetting the price tag of his jobs plan by increasing taxes for the nation’s highest earners and oil and gas companies starting in 2013. Those tax increases have been repeatedly rejected by Congressional Republicans.
The American Jobs Act requires funds to be spent by Sept. 30, 2012, an effort to encourage shovel-ready projects to begin right away.
Click here to find out where LAUSD and California allocations compare to the rest of the nation.