WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced a new $876,792 federal grant for the Rhode Island Department of Education – RIDE school modernization , preventing environmental health risks, improving maintenance, and planning long-term, under the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant Program.
With this funding, RIDE’s School Building Authority would increase necessary supports to assist local education agencies (LEAs) with improving building conditions and educational environments for students and teachers. Additional staff would coordinate energy efficiency and air quality audits, while aiding districts with procurement, technical assistance, and professional development.
Senator Reed helped the U.S. Department of Education recently launch the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant Program to enhance the ability of state departments of education to address school facilities matters.
“Schools are community assets. Modernizing school facilities can improve the learning experience for students, boost educational outcomes, and enhance student health and well-being. This federal funding will help identify opportunities for infrastructure upgrades and a blueprint to effectively implement these building improvements,” saidReed, the author of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act (S. 2608), a bill to invest $130 billion in modernizing classrooms across the country.
“RIDE is committed to ensuring more Rhode Island students learn in modern, safe, and welcoming school facilities that inspire them to reach their highest potential, and we are deeply appreciative of Senator Reed’s advocacy for critical federal funds to improve school infrastructure,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We know that the condition of the spaces our students learn in matter. When we invest in improvements and enhancements in learning spaces, we send a clear message to our kids and school staff that we care about their experiences and want them to learn, teach, and thrive in the best environments possible. We look forward to leveraging these funds to support local education agencies maintain and enhance their school facilities.”
RIDE plans to use this new federal grant to focus efforts on five high-need and urban districts that, combined, serve more than 300,000 students. Promoting healthy school facilities in these areas will not only support greater environmental justice and health equity among historically underserved communities — it will also provide a blueprint for statewide deployment of a comprehensive system of assistance for LEAs.
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