What we want
We’re calling on school leaders everywhere to champion a Green New Deal for Schools so all students — no matter of zip code or the color of their skin — can attend safe, clean, and climate prepared schools.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do we pay for the Green New Deal for Schools?
Across the country schools are dramatically underfunded. However, school districts are still making choices about where to spend money – which schools get how much, whether to spend on police officers or on new textbooks, and many other choices. These choices often end up hurting black, brown, and working class students while lining the pockets of wealthy corporations. It’s time for school boards to make the choices that stand up for us.
In addition, schools actually have a lot of access to money from two pieces of recent federal legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Combined, these two pieces of legislation have money for schools to electrify their bus systems, install energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, give tax credits for renewable energy investments and more. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in most school districts, it is now significantly cheaper to build net-zero buildings than their polluting counterparts.
Finally, the Green New Deal for Schools is a coordinated campaign across district, state, and federal governments. In order for a just transition, state and federal governments must pass and fully fund Green New Deal for Schools programs so that all communities, especially working-class and Black and brown communities, can share in the prosperity that the Green New Deal for Schools promises.
Is this politically feasible?
In 2017, schools in Batesville, Arkansas switched to 100% clean electricity and saved millions. Since then, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Denver, Miami Beach and countless other school districts have made clean energy commitments. In 2021, the New Jersey State Board of Education passed comprehensive K-12 climate education standards. In 2023, Minnesota and Michigan made all school lunches free. The stage for national K-12 climate legislation has been set for years and bold federal action on the climate crisis has been needed for decades.
The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act has the most cosponsors of any Green New Deal legislation in Congress. It is endorsed by the two largest teachers unions in the country and countless other parent groups, labor unions, and social justice organizations. That’s not to say we don’t have our work cut out for us. We need all the help we can get to make Green New Deal policies into political consensus nationwide. Sign up to join us here as we build a new political order in America.
Who can join this campaign?
This campaign is being led by middle and high school students across the country, but we need all hands on deck to win a Green New Deal for Schools. If you’re an educator, local leader, or a parent, sign up here to find out how you can get involved.
Has this been done before?
No climate legislation of this scale has ever been passed in the U.S., however the federal government has subsidized public schools for decades. The Green New Deal for Public Schools Act starts where the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund left off, expanding Title Ⅰ and IDEA programs and providing Block grants to school district across the country, especially in low-income and frontline communities.
What is the time commitment of the campaign?
High school hubs are led by teams of 3-5 students working on average 5 hours per week. The time commitment of hub members can vary based on commitment.