Green New Deal for Public Schools:
Our Power, Our Future, Our Schools

Every student deserves a healthy, safe, and supportive school environment. Yet, it’s no secret that the US public school system is crumbling — underfunded, understaffed, and abandoning the students and communities it serves.

The Green New Deal for Public Schools is a foundational investment in kids’ futures — and the future of the planet — that will make every school healthy and comfortable year-round, eliminate all carbon pollution from schools, and ensure the US public education is prepared for a changing climate.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Sen. Ed Markey’s Green New Deal for Public Schools would invest $1.6 trillion over 10 years to fund green upgrades that remove all health harms and carbon pollution from every public school in the nation while taking on environmental and racial inequities.

It will unleash the potential of safe and inspiring public education for 50 million K-12 students in every neighborhood across the country. And, it will add essential staff to vulnerable schools, create 1.3 million good paying jobs annually, and reduce carbon emissions by 78 million metric tons each year— that’s the same as taking 17 million gas-powered cars off the road!


So far, 77 representatives have co-sponsored the Green New Deal for Public Schools. Write legislators today to demand healthy, safe, and comfortable public schools year-round!

Tell your representatives to co-sponsor the Green New Deal for Public Schools by sending them an email below.

Why we fight for a Green New Deal for Public Schools!

Our public school system urgently needs investment as the climate crisis exposes its weakest points.

Water fountains are undrinkable through heat waves. Teachers are conducting classes in asbestos-filled rooms as they fill with wildfire smoke. Students can’t concentrate with no air conditioning on ever-increasing hot days. According to the Government Accountability Office, more than half of public school districts are in counties that experienced presidentially-declared major disasters from 2017 through 2019, affecting more than two-thirds of all students across the country.

Teachers, students, and communities deserve more from the public education system.

Every public school in the country deserves the highest standard of health and safety, while eliminating carbon pollution.

A Green New Deal for Public Schools would upgrade HVAC to provide comfortable learning environments 365 days a year, remove all mold, lead paint, and other toxins, repair all school infrastructure, and invest in staffing levels that allow districts to meet student and community needs, especially in our country's most vulnerable schools.

It would launch new, good paying careers for hundreds of thousands of workers. And it would bring green community infrastructure to every neighborhood in the country, especially Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and working class communities.

Students with demands - We Demand Pathways to Green Jobs, WE demand Climate Disaster Plans, We Demand Safe + Clean Buildings

Students, educators, and workers all deserve to learn and work in healthy, safe and supportive environments that are prepared for the realities of the climate crisis. 

Green New Deal for Schools by the Numbers:

50 million students attend K-12 public schools annually.

54% of public school districts needed to update or replace multiple systems or features in their school buildings, according to the Government Accountability Office

78 million metric tons of carbon reduction annually— as much as taking 17 million gas-powered cars off the road!

52% of public schools experienced major disasters from 2017 through 2019, affecting more than 67% of all students in the country.

41% of districts needed to update or replace their HVAC systems in 2019, according to a Government Accountability Office survey.

Nearly 14,000 public schools that did not need cooling systems in 1970 will need them by 2025.

1.3 million new, good-paying jobs funded annually, including: 

935,000 jobs from investments in healthy green retrofits (272,000 of which are construction and on-site maintenance jobs)
339,000 educator resource jobs annually from Resource Block Grants support

Since its 2021 introduction, the urgency of the demands of Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s federal-level Green New Deal for Public Schools platform continues to grow with union teachers organizing climate caucuses and students and young people escalating demands for a clear-eyed response to overlapping crises across the country.

Often sited in old or toxic buildings, a Green New Deal for Public Schools requires organized labor, community groups, and students to work together on topics ranging from the brick-and-mortar infrastructure of facilities to curriculum in classrooms.