Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obama's Stimulus Includes Money to Fix Schools

Students don't need spiffy schools to learn well but they definitely need schools that won't fall on their heads.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama probably cannot fix every leaky roof and busted boiler in the nation's schools. But educators say his sweeping school modernization program — if he spends enough — could jump-start student achievement.

More kids than ever are crammed into aging, run-down schools that need an estimated $255 billion in repairs, renovations or construction. While the president-elect is likely to ask Congress for only a fraction of that, education experts say it still could make a big difference.

"The need is definitely out there," said Robert Canavan, chairman of the Rebuild America's Schools coalition, which includes both teachers' unions and large education groups. "A federal investment of that magnitude would really have a significant impact."

Educators argue that spiffy classrooms help children learn and also remove health risks. But they warn that Obama's school spending plan won't stimulate the economy if it requires matching funds from state and local governments whose tax revenues have been slashed by the recession.