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School Renovations Through Loans and Grants

"We know we must connect all our classroom to the Internet. And we're getting there.... But we cannot finish the job when a third of all our schools are in serious disrepair. Many of them have walls and wires so old they're too old for the Internet. So tonight I propose to help 5,000 schools a year make immediate and urgent repairs...."

President Clinton, State of the Union Address, January 27, 2000

The President's School Renovation program would provide $1.3 billion to help local school districts renovate their buildings. A 1995 GAO report found about 28 million students attended 60% of the Nation's schools that reported having one or more building features, such as roofs, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems, needing to be extensively repaired, overhauled, or replaced. Forty-five percent of these schools had multiple features in need of repair.

  • The President's program would leverage nearly $7 billion of renovation projects (approximately 8,300 projects in 5,000 schools) in high-need school districts with little or no capacity to fund urgent repairs.
  • The program would leverage $34.5 billion over five years, enough to pay for approximately 41,500 renovation projects over that time period.

Projects Eligible Under the School Renovation Program

The President's School Renovation program is part of a larger school modernization package. The School Renovation program is designed to assist local school districts with emergency renovation projects such as repairs to roofs, heating or cooling systems, plumbing or electrical systems. These repairs can help make schools safer and more energy efficient, as well as improve access to technology. The proposed School Modernization Bonds are intended to complement this new proposal and to support school districts with major renovation projects, such as adding a new wing or the construction of new school buildings.

The School Renovation Program Benefits: Loans and Grants

The School Renovation program would provide interest-free federal loans and grants to needy school districts to fund urgent renovations.

  • The loan program would be targeted to those districts unable to finance the interest cost associated with facilities renovation.
  • The smaller grant program would provide direct funding to the neediest school districts unable to finance the capital expenditures associated with school renovation.

Targets Funds to Those Most in Need

Of the $1.3 billion under this School Renovation Program, funds will be distributed as follows:

  • $50 million would be provided to school districts that have 50 percent of more of their children in average daily attendance residing on Indian lands.
  • $125 million in grants would be provided to other high-need school districts with little or no capacity to borrow money for emergency repairs.
  • $1.125 billion would be provided to fund a loan program to leverage approximately $6.5 billion in 7-year no-interest loans.


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Last Updated -- April 3, 2000 (mhm)