Media Release - June 29, 2021
BASIC Response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. - June 29, 2021 - The [Re]Build America’s School Infrastructure Coalition (BASIC), a strong and diverse alliance made up of 140+ education, civic, labor, environmental, and industry organizations is deeply disappointed that the bipartisan infrastructure package does not include $100 billion for schools. This funding is critically needed to repair and modernize hundreds of unhealthy and crumbling school facilities in our poorest communities and was promised by Biden on the campaign trail and requested in his FY22 budget proposal.  
Mary Filardo, BASIC’s founder noted, “As a mom of children in public schools, I led the effort to rebuild my children’s public school because I could see the adverse health, education, and social impacts of their dilapidated building and grounds. There is an urgent need to build a new generation of resilient school facilities that will be healthy, green and educationally engaging. It is not enough to modernize bridges and highways if families will then use those pristine roads to drive children to crumbling schools. We need a federal investment in all of these areas to truly revitalize America’s infrastructure.” 
The American Rescue Plan was the first step to make improvements to air quality and allow schools to reopen safely. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes some funding for electric school busses, eliminating lead in pipes in schools, and increasing access to broadband in our rural and urban communities but it does not include the comprehensive funding and policy, like that in the Rebuild America’s Schools Act to accomplish what is necessary.
BASIC member DLR Group CEO and Chair of the American Institute of Architects Large Firm Round Table, Griff Davenport, says: “This funding skirts the heart of the problem: thousands of older schools and schools built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s for the Baby Boom generation are well beyond their useful life. Many of these schools were built quickly and cheaply and were only expected to last 40 years before being replaced or having major renovations. As a moral obligation to future generations, we must do more than piecemeal work on these essential facilities that prepare our students for the global workforce and to become upstanding citizens of our country.”

Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald, Regional Administrator, Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative explains: “The overwhelming dependence on local property taxes as the sole means of financing schools in thousands of poor school districts is part of a pattern of social and racial injustice that is baked into our education system. Poor school districts have no capacity to raise much needed capital to modernize their deficient school buildings.  
For these reasons, we strongly urge the President and Congress to support $100 billion in grants for public school facilities and to include the Rebuild America’s Schools Act in the upcoming reconciliation bill. 
Contact: Mary Filardo, 21st Century School Fund, 202-285-8947


The Re[Build] America's School Infrastructure Coalition (BASIC) is a non-partisan coalition of civic, public sector, labor, and industry associations who support federal funding to help under-served public school districts modernize and build K-12 public school facilities. We believe that ALL children should attend healthy, safe, and educationally appropriate school facilities. It's BASIC.

To learn more: Visit BASIC's website, which includes resources and recent school facilities news. Follow BASIC on Twitter @BuildUSschools