Pa. House passes Schweyer’s Safer, Better Schools legislation

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer today announced his bill to establish a grant program for schools to make critical upgrades and repairs passed the full House Monday evening.

The average age of public schools in Pennsylvania is roughly 70 years old and many are in need of repairs and upgrades to ensure students and staff have safe and comfortable learning environments,” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “I am pleased to see bipartisan support for this bill as this would benefit schools across the commonwealth in urban, suburban and rural communities.”

According to Schweyer, HB 1408 would establish the Public School Facility Improvement Grant Program. It would provide funding for schools to make necessary and essential improvements to existing school buildings, such as roof repairs, updating or installation of HVAC systems and lead and asbestos remediation. School districts, intermediate units and career and technical schools would be able to apply for grants of up to 75% of their project’s costs with a cap at $5 million.

Added Schweyer, “The current school construction program, PlanCon, focuses on new building and major construction projects, it does not help school districts pay for basic maintenance, routine upgrades or to clean up harmful environmental hazards. This bill would make sure students only have to worry about learning in their classroom.”

Schweyer said the legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.