H.R. 2187 Amendments: 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act

H.R. 2187

21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act

May 14, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

Amendments to H.R. 2187 are expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, under a structured rule (H.Res. 427), which allows consideration of 14 amendments.  Each amendment will be debatable for ten minutes.

This legislation was introduced by Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) on April 30, 2009.  The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor, who held a mark-up of the bill on May 6, 2009, and reported the bill, as amended, by a vote of 31-14.

Bill Summary

Amendment #1, Miller (D-CA)-The amendment increases from one percent to two percent the amount allocated for payments to the Secretary of the Interior to provide assistance to tribal and outlying school areas.  The amendment also adds a few new allowances for use of funds, including constructing water supply and wiring, and building envelopes for school facilities.  The amendment gives priority to schools for abatement and removal of lead, asbestos, and other harmful chemicals.  The amendment also amends the section of the bill dealing with Charter Schools by adding in a provision to require that any excess funds for Charter Schools revert back to the local education agency (LEA) for use on other projects. 

Amendment #2, McKeon (R-CA)-The amendment requires states to be in compliance with public school choice (including transportation for those who choose school choice), supplemental education services, private school participation, and military recruiters provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in order to be considered as eligible to receive funding under the bill.

Amendment #3, Titus (D-NV)/Markey, Betsy (D-CO)-The amendment requires the Secretary of Education to establish an Advisory Council on green, high-performing schools.  The amendment requires that the Council advise the Secretary on the impact of green, high-performing schools on teaching and learning, health, energy costs and environmental impact; as well as work with the Secretary to recommend Federal policies to increase the number of green, high-performing schools; identify Federal policies that are barriers to helping states make schools green and high-performing; and provide technical assistance to states. The Council will consult with the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Commerce Secretary, Energy Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretary, Labor Secretary, EPA Administrator, and the GSA Administrator.

Amendment #4, Roe (R-TN)/Cuellar (D-TX)-The amendment requires the Education Secretary to enter into an agreement with the Department's Institute of Educational Sciences to evaluate the impact of projects funded under the bill on student academic achievement, including a comparison of students attending public schools receiving funding under the bill with students attending public schools that are not receiving such funding.  After such a report is made, the Secretary must submit the results of the evaluation to relevant Congressional Committees.  Furthermore, any report made must be made available to the public in a timely manner.

Amendment #5, Ellsworth (D-IN)-The amendment adds a rule of construction to ensure that nothing prohibits a local educational agency from using sustainable, domestic hardwood lumber for public school modernization, renovation, repairs, or construction.  The amendment also amends the reporting section of the bill to require agencies receiving grant funds under the bill to disclose whether any flooring installed was from renewable sources.

Amendment #6, Flake (R-AZ)-The amendment prohibits funds appropriated under the bill to be used for congressional earmarks.

Amendment #7, Giffords (D-AZ)/Cleaver (D-MO)-The amendment would allow LEAs to encourage schools at which projects are undertaken to educate students about the project, including the "functioning of the project and its environmental, energy, sustainability, and other benefits."

Amendment #8, Reichert (R-WA)-The amendment allows funds under the bill to be used to install or upgrade technology to ensure schools are able to respond to emergencies such as acts of terrorism, campus violence, and natural disasters

Amendment #9, Maffei (D-NY)/Schwartz (D-PA)-The amendment requires that the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, work with recipients of funds under the bill to promote opportunities for individuals enrolled in the Job Corps program, or students enrolled in a junior or community college, to gain employment "and experience" in modernization, renovation, repair, and construction.  

Amendment #10, Bright (D-AL)/Green, Al (D-TX)-The amendment requires the Secretary to reserve five percent of grant funds to LEAs serving geographic areas with significant economic distress or recovering from a natural disaster.

Amendment #11, Griffith (D-AL)/Teague (D-NM)-The amendment references the need to  reduce the incidence and effects of asthma and other respiratory illnesses in children in the guidelines for high performing school buildings, as well as to the benefits section of the bill.  The amendment also includes the reduction and elimination of human exposure to airborne particles such as dust, sand, and pollens among the approved uses for grant funds used by local educational agencies.

Amendment #12, Heinrich (D-NM)-The amendment allows funds to be used to install and upgrade recreational structures and physical education facilities with post consumer recovered materials. 

Amendment #13, Lujan (D-NM)/Schwartz (D-PA)-The amendment would allow funds under the bill to be used to build greenhouses, plant gardens (including trees) and "other facilities for environmental, scientific, or other educational purposes, or to produce energy savings.

Amendment #14, Schrader (D-OR)-The amendment requires the GAO to conduct a study within one year of enactment of the bill (and report to Congress) on the extent and types of projects funded, the geographic distribution of green, high-performing schools (including by urban, suburban, and rural areas), and the relative access to such schools of the demographic groups.