Today, Mark Udall joins President Obama as he travels to Denver and visits the Abraham Lincoln High School to highlight his American Jobs Act proposal. The American Jobs Act proposes a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will create jobs while modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country. To highlight the importance of investing in our children's futures, Udall invited to the event a group of school children from Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), which provides science, math and leadership education for Colorado's urban youth.
Udall believes investing in our children's education, including the buildings they learn in, will help our country win the global economic race. In his visits across the state, Udall has talked to school officials who said they want to take advantage of federal programs to make school buildings more energy efficient - but information about grants and programs were difficult to access because the programs are scattered among many federal agencies. Earlier this year, Udall introduced a bill, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act, that would coordinate information about all federal energy efficiency programs and funding opportunities into one source in the Department of Energy.
"As my colleagues on the congressional deficit-reduction panel look for ways to prioritize our country's spending, we must ensure that our kids don't bear the brunt of our miscalculations. I'm thrilled the President is committed to making sure America's school children have adequate resources to become educated as competitive global leaders," Udall said. "My bill to streamline energy efficiency programs would allow school officials to more easily access a one-stop-shop of information to learn from other schools' efforts to save energy. This wouldn't just save taxpayer dollars and create additional jobs to implement energy-efficiency programs; it would also help schools funnel more money from overhead costs toward actually giving our kids a world-class education."
ELK Executive Director Stacie Gilmore, who is taking nine public middle- and high-school students to the event, said, "It's exciting for Environmental Learning for Kids students to be involved in events such as this to make sure they understand the important role they play in science, education and being involved in their communities. ELK students understand the important connection between the environment and education, and this provides an opportunity for them to hear from great leaders."