For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) reintroduced the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act alongside 76 original cosponsors and 200 advocates. 

This ambitious plan aims to invest $1.6 trillion over 10 years in our public education system to combat climate change and meet the holistic needs of students, families, communities, and a thriving democracy. It would transform our public school infrastructure by upgrading every facility in the country to become a healthy, safe, comfortable learning environment, and would address the historical harm of redlining and underinvestment by focusing first on high-need schools. The bill would also provide funding to hire and train hundreds of thousands of educators, mental health professionals, and support staff to support high quality learning opportunities, safe and supportive school environments, and wraparound programming for students and families. According to research from the Climate and Community Project, enacting the Green New Deal for Public Schools would create 1.3 million jobs per year and eliminate 78 million metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road.

“It’s time to revolutionize our public schools,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16). “As we face the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and confront the harms of underinvestment in redlined communities and inequities in our education system, we must center our kids and their futures. Education can change the world. Schools should be the centers of our communities, places of joy and self-discovery where students feel safe to grow, thrive, and explore their passions and curiosity. Right now, they’re crumbling, leaving our students, educators, and communities behind. We must take advantage of this moment by putting them first and facing the climate crisis head on with ??bold investments in our schools focused on environmental, educational, economic, and racial equity. It’s time for us to provide our kids with the resources they need to unlock their brilliance and have a livable planet by passing the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act and making urgent and necessary investments to revitalize our public education system.”

“The United States of America should have the best public education system in the world—our students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators are doing their part, but Congress is failing them at every turn. School buildings are falling apart, educators and staff are creating makeshift air conditioners from window units, aging infrastructure is making our kids and our planet sick—it’s a disgrace,” said Senator Markey (D-MA). “The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act delivers climate justice, health justice, social justice, economic justice, and racial justice so that students – no matter their zip code – can learn in a safe and healthy environment, and one that is contributing to a healthier planet for the next generation. It is long past due for the United States to invest in schools what schools invest in us.”

The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act will invest $1.6 trillion over ten years in America's K-12 education system, healing and strengthening our schools for the 21st century and addressing the holistic needs of students to support health, safety, and high quality learning opportunities. The bill puts young people and public education at the center of our national response to the crises of climate change, systemic racism, and economic inequality by:

  • Creating an Office of Sustainable Schools within the U.S. Department of Education to administer new grant programs in collaboration with the Department of Energy
  • Providing $446 billion in Climate Capital Facilities Grants and $40 billion for a Climate Change Resiliency Program to – 
    • Upgrade every public school building in the country – starting with the highest-need districts – to create safe, healthy, zero-carbon, and accessible learning environments for students and staff
  • Investing $250 billion in Resource Block Grants for schools to –
    • Drastically reduce student-to-staff ratios, equipping schools to approach target ratios of 12:1 for grades K-8 and 15:1 for grades 9-12
    • Strengthen and diversify the educator pipeline
    • Better integrate local knowledge & community relationships in high-need schools
    • Develop and implement initiatives to support high quality teaching and learning, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, violence prevention, student mental health, and positive school climates.
  • Creating an Educational Equity Planning Grants Pilot Program funded at $100 million to–
    • Address historic school funding inequities within regions
  • Increasing funding for Title I Part A and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Part B by $850 billion over ten years, including –
    • Quadrupling current funding for Title I Part A to reach $74 billion annually to support schools and districts with students living in poverty
    • Tripling current funding for IDEA Part B to reach $44 billion annually to support students with disabilities


Click here to read a summary of the bill.


Original Cosponsors of the bill include: Senator Sanders and Representatives Alma Adams, Becca Balint, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Earl Blumenauer, Brendan Boyle, Cori Bush, Tony Cárdenas, Andre Carson, Greg Casar, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Yvette D. Clarke, Gerald E. Connolly, Jasmine Crockett, Danny K. Davis, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Valerie Foushee, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Robert Garcia, Jesús G. "Chuy" García, Dan Goldman, Jimmy Gomez, Al Green, Raúl Grijalva, Jahana Hayes, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Hank Johnson, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Summer Lee, Ted W. Lieu , Stephen Lynch, Betty McCollum, Morgan McGarvey, Jim McGovern, Grace Meng, Kweisi Mfume, Gwen Moore, Kevin Mullin, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ilhan Omar, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Mike Quigley, Delia Ramirez, Jamie Raskin, Linda T. Sánchez, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Adam Smith, Melanie Stansbury, Mark Takano, Shri Thanedar, Bennie G. Thompson, Rashida Tlaib, Jill Tokuda, Paul Tonko, Ritchie Torres, Lori Trahan, Juan Vargas, Nydia Velázquez, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Nikema Williams, Frederica S. Wilson 


Endorsing organizations include: American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Alliance for Quality Education, Network for Public Education, American Psychological Association (APA), United Federation of Teachers (UFT), American Institute of Architects, Labor Network for Sustainability, A New Deal for Youth (ND4Y), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Sunrise Movement, Journey for Justice Alliance, March for Our Lives, Gen Z for Change, Working Families Party, Climate and Community Project, Chicago Teachers Union, New Leaders, EduColor, Sierra Club, Taproot Earth, Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program, Green New Deal Network, Undaunted K-12, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Citizens for Public Schools, CCAN Action Fund, National Educators United, Friends of the Earth, GreenLatinos, Education Law Center, First Focus Campaign for Children, Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association, Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK), People's Action, School and Communities United, Zero Hour, People's Justice Council, Progressive Democrats of America, NYC Opt Out, New Rochelle FUSE, Yonkers Family YMCA, Rewiring America, Food & Water Watch, Generation 180, indoor Air Innovation & Research (iAIR), Oil Change International


“Rep. Bowman’s and Sen. Markey’s Green New Deal for Public Schools provides bold solutions to very real and urgent challenges facing our kids and our communities, including learning loss, loneliness and ongoing anxiety, trauma and isolation that make it harder for kids to focus on school. This bill invests in educators, paraprofessionals, school psychologists and counselors; invests in retrofitting school buildings in the highest-need districts; quadruples Title I; dramatically increases IDEA; and addresses historic inequities. These are the real solutions to the real problems students and educators face every day, from addressing literacy, challenges to fixing sweltering temperatures and other ventilation and clean air issues in classrooms, and schools and helping address the ongoing shortage of classroom teachers and staff. These are the investments we must make to make every public school in America a safe, welcoming and joyful place where educators are respected and supported, parents are happy to send their kids, and students thrive.” – Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers President


“Every student, no matter where they come from or where they live, deserves access to a safe, just, and equitable public school. The National Education Association applauds the Green New Deal for Public Schools because this much-needed legislation will invest in our public schools by modernizing outdated and dilapidated school buildings, helping to strengthen programs that diversify those entering the teaching profession, and providing increased funding that helps our most vulnerable students. On behalf of NEA’s 3 million members, I want to commend Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Sen. Ed Markey for their continued actions to help provide educators with the resources and tools our students need to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.” – Becky Pringle, President of the National Education Association 


“The Working Families Party has been proud to stand with Rep. Bowman since he first ran for Congress in 2020 because we knew that he was a passionate educator with a big vision for our kids, our schools, and our country. The Green New Deal for Schools represents a holistic approach to tackling climate change, investing in our schools and our communities, and realizing the promise of public education as an engine of democracy and social equality. WFP is proud to stand with Rep. Bowman and proud to endorse the GND for Schools." – Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party


"Representative Bowman and Senator Markey's Green New Deal for Public Schools encapsulates the dream that Gen-Z continues to strive for and deserves. This bill brings together teachers, janitorial staff, students, family, unions, and the community at large to safeguard our right to healthy schools. It's about time all schools, regardless of zip code, have clean air, safe drinking water, climate resilient infrastructure, and more. It's time for a Green New Deal for Public Schools.– Elise Joshi, Executive Director of Gen Z for Change


“In the midst of a devastating climate emergency caused by decades of unchecked corporate greed, children and their future must be centered. The Green New Deal for Public Schools represents the level of school infrastructure investment that is urgently necessary to heal the harm from decades of disinvestment, redlining and cycles of poverty and trauma, particularly for Black and brown children while rapidly and justly decarbonizing. This legislation provides students with the resources they need to realize their brilliance, workers with the safety and stability they need to do their jobs, and communities with a livable planet for the flourishing of generations to come.” – Batul Hassan, Policy Manager at Climate and Community Project


"On the first week of school this year, It was 101° outside and our school's old AC petered out, leaving the room too hot to teach and learn much of anything. New green HVAC systems are not only essential for the climate, they're essential for the learning conditions in our schools. The Green New Deal for Schools will modernize our facilities, leaving our young people with schools they can thrive in and a bright future they can believe in." – Nick Limbeck, CTU Executive Board member and bilingual teacher at Barry Elementary school


“A Green New Deal for schools signifies that we are both willing to invest in the  youth who will lead us into a future powered by cleaner energy sources but also invest in our vital government buildings-our schools- to courageously tackle the ongoing climate crisis. By committing to a Green New Deal for schools we are enhancing resilience in all communities against severe weather events, whether it is incorporating solar panels for grid-independent power or establishing microgrids for added resiliency. However, neglecting preparedness could perpetuate harm in the very communities that have historically suffered from disinvestment.” – Karla Valdez, Sandoval Elementary, Chicago Public Schools 


“The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act would be a significant step forward in addressing systemic racial disparities in New York's public schools, while supporting students and families and creating a more equitable and sustainable future for us all. By prioritizing non-carceral approaches to promote school safety, fostering a welcoming school culture, and creating a safer learning environment for students, it would help rectify generational inequity in our public education system, and put us New York and the nation on a path to achieving educational justice and creating a more equitable future.” – Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education


“We are incredibly grateful to Representative Bowman and Senator Markey for introducing the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act. This legislation is crucial in ensuring that students have access to healthy, safe, and accessible learning environments. We applaud the congressmen for addressing funding inequities that have created unacceptable disparities within our public school system. The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act utilizes the whole child approach in order to ensure a safer, healthier, and more equitable education experience for students nationwide.” – Lily Klam, Director of Education Policy, First Focus Campaign for Children


“Our public schools need advocates and champions who understand the bridge between quality education and a thriving democracy.  With so attention paid to private school choice, vouchers and charter schools, Public Advocacy for Kids thanks Rep Bowman and Senator Markey for assuring that it’s the public schools that have the resources to address the needs of the whole child:  school infrastructure, partnerships, climate, mental health, equity and poverty, safety, and our marginalized students .  We look forward to working with Rep. Bowman and Sen. Markey in urging support of the Green New Deal for Public Schools Act recognizing that as a democracy, our future is linked to the success of inclusive, diverse, truthful and quality public schools and communities.” – Arnold F. Fege, President, Public Advocacy for Kids


“Our schools should prepare us for the future—but right now, they’re ill prepared to deal with a crisis of gun violence, mental health, and an existential climate crisis. The Green New Deal for Public Schools gives us a clear path forward to keeping students safe and well, and protecting our schools and our planet for generations to come. It will make our schools safer, greener, and more welcoming than I’ve seen in my lifetime. March For Our Lives is proud to support this historic bill that invests in a holistic approach to education.” – Elena Perez, Senior Policy Associate at March For Our Lives


"Our children deserve a brighter future. Our schools should be teaching our youth how we will transition to a 100% clean-powered society in the next decade. Powering all of our K-12 school buildings with only clean energy will help our country meet its climate protection goals and have the effect of reducing carbon dioxide emissions equal to closing 150 methane power plants. This is the long overdue investment we need in our school infrastructure to create healthy, efficient, and resilient learning centers that are preparing students for the 21st century." – Wendy Philleo, Generation180 Executive Director


“For years, youth have been marching in the streets, organizing mass walkouts, and demanding bold action on climate change that is rooted in environmental justice. With the Green New Deal for Public Schools Bill, Representative Bowman and Senator Markey are championing our calls and transitioning us away from an extractive economy towards a regenerative future. With investments in green jobs and infrastructure as well as trauma-informed and culturally responsive curricula, Representative Bowman is setting up young people to become the leaders our country needs. A New Deal for Youth is proud to support Representative Bowman and Senator Markey's Green New Deal for Public Schools and continue working with him to pass youth-led legislation.” – Elias Khoury, ND4Y Changemaker, A New Deal for Youth