Governor Kitzhaber and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten today announced a strategic partnership including up to $15 million for investment in the Governor's Cool Schools Initiative. The funds will be made available through collaboration with unions and Ullico, a union owned financial services company. This partnership will work to identify investments in Oregon's public school infrastructure and energy efficiency retrofits.
"Today's announcement gives significant validation to our Cool Schools project," said Governor Kitzhaber. "I welcome the national interest in this innovative program, and look forward to working with friends in labor and Ullico."
"Governor Kitzhaber has shown real leadership in launching the 'Cool Schools' initiative earlier this year. We're grateful that in working together, we can ensure that our children have access to facilities which help them reach their potential," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Cool Schools, one of Governor Kitzhaber's signature initiatives, passed the Oregon Legislature unanimously during the 2011 Session. Cool Schools provides access to financing for school districts to fix leaky roofs, upgrade inefficient lighting and heating and make other improvements. In addition, Oregon offers a full pipeline of improvement projects, including 396 school facilities that received state-of-the-art energy audits with $2 million in unused recovery act funds earlier this year.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
"Cool Schools is a triple-win for Oregon: it puts Oregonians back to work; lowers energy costs; and creates healthier learning environments for our students and teachers," said Kitzhaber.