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This guide provides a framework for community involvement in the complex process of modernizing or building new public school buildings.

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Four options presented on South Kingstown school facilities
-- Colin Howarth, The Independent

Rhode Island: January 18, 2018 -- SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Four options regarding the future of the South Kingstown School Department’s facilities were presented to the School Committee Tuesday. Robert Hendriks, managing principal of Educational Legacy Planning, the consulting firm hired to conduct the study, said all the options presented are long-term projects that would take five to six years to implement fully. The options are the result of research conducted by the consultant since the summer, and more than 1,900 local residents have been involved in the process.

Danbury bond sales finance new school construction
-- Maddy McCarty, The Facts

Texas: January 18, 2018 -- DANBURY — Despite the weather, the Danbury ISD school board met Tuesday night and approved the sale of $15 million of debt to the lowest bidder: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. The interest rate for the debt will be 3.65 percent, a satisfactory low rate the district was able to receive because of its AAA and A plus ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Superintendent Greg Anderson said. The rating is based on how the district handles its finances, along with the economic status of the community. Anderson said the superior ratings are a good sign for Brazoria County. The approval helps the district move forward with building the new elementary school, which is projected to be ready for use by the 2019-20 school year.

East Pennsboro Area School board to discuss future school renovation projects
-- Janel Knight, Abc 27

Pennsylvania: January 18, 2018 -- ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) East Pennsboro Area school board is expected to discuss future school renovation projects that could cost up to $50 million. The board wants to move forward with a plan to renovate all school buildings. It adds classrooms with new technology for students and removes the fifth grade from the middle school which would create two K-5 buildings within the current elementary schools. The board has been talking about the renovation projects since a feasibility study was completed in 2016.

Reed, Murkowski Lead Letter Urging Trump Administration to Bolster Public School Infrastructure
-- US Senate

National: January 17, 2018 -- In an effort to rebuild and modernize public schools, boost student achievement, and grow the nation’s economy, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who both serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, are leading a bipartisan effort to urge President Trump to create a federal-state partnership to invest in the infrastructure of the nation’s public schools. The Senators say public schools are essential to the fabric of our communities and investing in 21st Century schools should be a key piece of a bipartisan infrastructure proposal. In a bipartisan letter sent to the White House today, Reed, Murkowski, and 23 of their Senate colleagues note: “safe, healthy, modern, well-equipped schools are essential for advancing student achievement and for ensuring that the next generation can achieve the American Dream and meet the economic, social, environmental, and global challenges our nation faces.” Reed has introduced the School Building Improvement Act (S. 1674), which would help provide $100 billion in federal grants and school construction bonds over the next decade to help build and renovate schools. By providing states with grants and low-cost bonds to meet their school construction and modernization needs, the bill would help strengthen communities and create an estimated 1.8 million jobs, while also laying the foundation for better schools, smart growth, and a brighter future. Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representative by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In their letter to President Trump, the lawmakers state: “the federal government should consider partnering with states on innovative financing mechanisms to help every community ensure their schools are safe, healthy, and modern, particularly in low-income and rural school districts where the need is often most profound. This is the right thing to do for students, educators, and communities. It is also a smart investment, since it will give a needed boost to our economy by creating local jobs in every community across the country. According to a recent economic analysis, every $1 billion dollars invested in construction creates nearly 18,000 jobs. That means, for example, that a federal investment in school infrastructure of $100 billion would yield an estimated 1.8 million jobs.”

Duval School District To Give $3.8 Million Maintenance Dollars To Charters
-- Lindsey Kilbride, WJCT

Florida: January 17, 2018 -- The Duval County school district will be giving $3.8 million to the county’s charter schools by the end of this month, district staff told board members Tuesday. The revenue-sharing is a new state requirement, coming out of an education law known as House Bill 7069. Florida school districts pay for most building and maintenance projects with local taxes, called capital outlay dollars.

More than 150 Democrats Ask Trump to Invest in Public School Infrastructure
-- US House of Representatives

National: January 17, 2018 -- Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and 153 House Democrats sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the administration to invest in the critical infrastructure that affects every city and town in the nation – our public schools. Too many of the more than 50 million students and six million staff who learn and work in our public schools spend their days in facilities that fail to make the grade. “To address this crisis, the federal government should partner with states and territories to ensure that public schools in every community are safe, healthy, and modern – particularly in low-income and rural school districts where the need is often most profound. This is the right thing to do for students, teachers, and communities. It is also a smart investment, since it will give a needed boost to our economy by creating local jobs in every community across the country,” the members wrote. “According to recent economic analysis, every $1 billion dollars invested in construction creates nearly 18,000 jobs. That means a federal investment in school infrastructure of $100 billion would yield an estimated 1.8 million jobs that are high-paying and immediately available.” Democrats have already introduced legislation in the House that would create such a partnership, providing $100 billion for direct grants and low-cost financing to help states and local communities upgrade their school facilities.

Somerville High School renovation process made easier through modular construction
-- Genevieve Bien-Aime, The Somerville Times

Massachusetts: January 17, 2018 -- If you have recently driven by Somerville High School on the Highland Ave. side you may have noticed a long, one story air force blue colored building facing the street. Considering it sits directly in front of the left side of the high school, it’s really hard to miss. This building is actually a series of modular constructions, or factory produced pre-engineered building units, that were delivered to the high school on December 26. Fused together, these modular constructions will serve as a temporary space to house to all of the English Department, as well as parts of the Foreign Language and Social Studies Departments.

District approves facilities maintenance bonding
-- Lynn Mizner, Aitkin Age

Minnesota: January 17, 2018 -- Aitkin Schools Superintendent Brad Kelvington shared the district’s Facilities and Finance Committee report, which focused on the maintenance of existing facilities. The committee believes everything is in place to allow bonding to go forward, but another work session could be held to finalize plans. Board member discussion focused on the benefits of the facility updates.

Georgetown ISD upgrades school facilities, plans for growth
-- Evan Marczynski, Community Impact Newspaper

Texas: January 17, 2018 -- The development of a new learning model, aging buildings and enrollment growth have been guiding influences for Georgetown ISD as the district has undertaken a makeover of more than half of its facilities and built two new schools since voters approved a $160.6 million bond package in November 2015.

Gov. Mark Dayton wants $1.5B for Minnesota infrastructure projects
-- Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune

Minnesota: January 17, 2018 -- Headed toward his final legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday proposed a $1.5 billion public works bonding bill that prioritizes upkeep projects on college campuses but would also spread resources to improving other state buildings, constructing affordable housing and repairing clean water infrastructure. “Now is the time to make substantial investments in our state’s future,” Dayton said in a statement, citing the state’s Triple-A bond rating and what he called an “enormous need for infrastructure improvements across Minnesota.”

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