House Passes Reichert Amendment to Reduce School Class Size
Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) applauded the passage of his amendment before the House of Representatives today, as part of H.R. 3021, the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public Schools Facility Act. This legislation seeks to make grants to local education agencies for the construction, modernization, or repair of public kindergarten, elementary, and secondary educational facilities. Reichert's amendment added a provision that encourages smaller class sizes for students and teachers.
"Our children have been forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms with insufficient resources for too long; passage of my amendment to reduce class sizes in our schools is a victory for students and teachers across the nation. With smaller class sizes our children will finally receive the individualized instruction they need to excel.
"As we help usher our schools into the 21st century we should consider how new technologies and building designs can accommodate smaller class sizes. My amendment accomplishes this by permitting local education agencies to use modernization grants for projects that seek to reduce class sizes in our schools."
H.R. 3021 authorizes $6.4B for the next fiscal year (FY 2009) to modernize, repair, renovate, and build environmentally friendly public schools, and an additional $500 million over five years to help reconstruct and renovate public schools damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
Supporters of the bill include: the National Education Association, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, U.S. Green Building Council, National PTA, Earthjustice, American Lands Alliance, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, American Association of School Administrators, Small School Districts' Association, Building and Construction Trades Department, Mason Contractors Association of America, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National School Boards Association, and the Rebuild America's Schools Coalition.