Representatives Form Green Schools Caucus
By CP Editorial Staff November 2007 - Energy EfficiencyA new caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives has been formed to raise awareness and promote the benefits of green schools and their ability to foster learning, protect students’ and teachers’ health, save school districts money, and reduce their impact on the environment.
With the active support of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), founding co-chairs Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, created the Green Schools Caucus in October.
The goals of the caucus are to raise awareness of the benefits of green schools, lead the policy discussion on the topic in various forums, create legislative opportunities for the collective efforts of the caucus members, and provide members of Congress with constituent outreach resources. Caucus members and their staff will participate in educational programs to learn what is going on nationally and in their districts, including site visits to green schools and educational panels with teachers, architects, and school officials from across the country.
A 2006 study sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the American Institute of Architects, the American Lung Association, the Federation of American Scientists and USGBC found that building green would save an average school $100,000 each year in energy costs alone – enough to hire two additional full-time teachers, purchase 5,000 new textbooks, or buy 500 new computers.
For more information on green schools, including their benefits, resources for promoting green schools, and case studies of schools that have already gone green, visit http://www.buildgreenschools.org.