The Bill that started it all. 

Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Sen. Ed Markey’s Green New Deal for Public Schools would invest $1.6 trillion over 10 years to provide healthy, green upgrades to every K-12 public school in the nation while comprehensively addressing environmental and racial inequity. It’s also popular, with the most endorsements of any Green New Deal bill in Congress! According to Climate and Community Project, this legislation would create 1.3 million good paying jobs annually and reduce carbon emissions by 78 million metric tons each year— that’s as much as taking 17 million gas-powered cars off the road.

What makes the Green New Deal for Public Schools stand apart? 

Environmental equity

The Green New Deal for Public Schools prioritizes the most vulnerable school districts and provides 1) safer and healthier school facilities to improve school and community level health outcomes and 2) investments in school resources and curriculums to improve and address systemic environmental and health inequities.
  • Buildings that teach and climate curriculum
  • Building retrofits that finally end fossil fuel use
  • Building maintenance and care
  • Buildings that function as resilience hubs
  • Safe, decarbonized transportation systems

Educational equity

The Green New Deal for Public Schools provides 1) direct grants to districts for building retrofit and infrastructure modernization to address known factors of disparate educational outcomes such as test scores and teacher retention and 2) investments in school human resources to directly address years of systemic disinvestment in high-need, low-resource school districts.
  • Strong partnerships with parents, families, and communities 
  • Trauma-informed approaches
  • Community design of schools with continued democratic participation
  • Stability and growth of the educator labor force and school support staff
  • Prioritization of hiring from the local community

Economic equity

The Green New Deal for Public Schools ​​provides 1) direct grants to districts for building retrofit and infrastructure modernization and greening to support local job creation and 2) investments in school human resources to stimulate the local economy through the production of stable wage earners and improved educational outcomes.
  • Local jobs, living wages, and priority to unions
  • K-20 engagement with local union work and local trades
  • Community and caregiver needs integrated at school sites
  • Strengthen local economies by resourcing healthy, safe, green schools
  • Ensure school funding equity

Racial equity

The US racial wealth gap translates directly into the racial “achievement” gap between majority-minority and majority-white school districts. Suburban schools perform better than urban and rural districts; majority white schools perform better than majority Black, Brown, or tribal schools; and wealthier school districts outperform their poorer counterparts. Providing resources to address harm in low-resource communities is another way of addressing health and environmental inequities.
  • Prioritizing schools with the greatest need, not schools that offer the most political opportunity
  • Remove tradeoffs for under-resourced administrators by increasing discretionary funds 
  • Providing new sources of federal funding to address systemic disinvestment
  • Increase capacity in state- and local-level education departments and agencies

What would the $1.6 trillion in the Green New Deal for Public Schools mean for public education?

The Green New Deal for Public Schools recognizes that public schools are centers of communities in everyday life and builds on this legacy by directing federal investments to school buildings and districts that are the most vulnerable to economic marginalization, environmental injustice, and educational inequity – a reality that has only worsened in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic for far too many school districts. This ambitious investment in public education would include:

  • $446 billion over 10 years to Climate Capital Facilities Grants to fund healthy green, climate-friendly retrofits for every public school in the country.
  • $250 billion over 10 years to Resource Block Grants to fund expanded staff, social services, training, and professional development in public schools. 
  • $100 million over 10 years to Educational Equity Planning Grants to pilot a process of eliminating intra-region education inequities in school funding and encourage neighboring agencies to coordinate equitable, locally-driven economic development.
  • $69.5 billion annually in expanded Title 1 and IDEA Annual Funding to sustain increased operational support to schools and districts with students living in poverty and to better support students with disabilities. 

All school districts and schools will be eligible to apply for facility and resource block grants. Regional districts that create regional equity plans are eligible for annual equity awards. However, the Green New Deal for Public Schools prioritizes the districts with median poverty rates in the bottom third of the nation and districts in the bottom third of local contributions to per-pupil expenditures.