Support Rhode Island Green & Healthy Schools Campaign

Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island Senate, & Rhode Island House of Representatives

Rhode Island has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet our challenges head-on and invest in our future. By taking advantage of the federal funding opportunities and infrastructure investments in the months and years ahead, we can simultaneously modernize every school building in the state, create thousands of union jobs, and take significant steps toward meeting our state’s Act on Climate goals.

With the passage of two transformative school construction bonds in 2018 and 2022, the state has already begun the hard work of improving and modernizing school facilities throughout the state. Each of these statewide school construction bonds include generous, time-limited bonuses to increase the State reimbursement on projects that address health and safety issues, enhance early childhood education, career and technical education, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) facilities, and requires ongoing maintenance investments to sustain facility improvements.

Since the passage of the 2018 School Construction Bond, districts have been approved for over $2.2 billion in funding to repair or replace 202 school buildings in 32 school districts, benefiting over 100,000 students annually. This investment has created over 36,000 jobs while enhancing educational outcomes for students.

Now it is time to double down on this investment. Join us in supporting the Green and Healthy Schools initiative, a campaign dedicated to transitioning every public-school to net-zero energy by 2035. Representative Art Handy has introduced this legislation in the House (H-6008) and Senate Majority Leader Ryan Pearson has introduced it in the Senate (S-0537).

This legislation requires that all K-12 public schools create a pathway to net-zero energy by 2035, introduces two housing aid reimbursement incentives for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy improvements, and includes strong labor standards and apprenticeship utilization on all school construction projects.

The bills also includes the addition of one full-time employee at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), who will serve as an energy modeler for school districts. It also directs districts to leverage federal funding opportunities coming out of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act and enables school districts to pursue additional sources of funding without a reduction in their school housing aid reimbursement.

It’s time to fully transition our schools into the clean energy future with good, skilled union jobs. An investment in our children and our workers is an investment in our communities. Putting Rhode Island on the path to green and healthy schools with strong labor standards allows us to combat climate change, keep our kids and staff safe, improve learning outcomes, keep money in our communities, and create thousands of good union jobs.

Let's not waste this golden opportunity to modernize and fully decarbonize our school buildings by 2035.


Petition by
Erica Hammond Hammond
Warwick, Rhode Island

To: Governor Dan McKee, Rhode Island Senate, & Rhode Island House of Representatives
From: Cheryl Masciarelli

Continuing your commitment to Rhode Island’s education infrastructure, we urge you to pass House Bill 6008 and Senate Bill 0537 to support Green and Healthy Schools. This legislation requires that all K-12 public schools create a pathway to net-zero energy by 2035, introduces two housing aid reimbursement incentives for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy improvements, and includes strong labor standards and apprenticeship utilization on all school construction projects.

The bill also includes the addition of one full-time employee at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), who will serve as an energy modeler for school districts. It also directs districts to leverage federal funding opportunities coming out of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act and enables school districts to pursue additional sources of funding without a reduction in their school housing aid reimbursement.

Rhode Island has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet our challenges head-on and invest in our future. By taking advantage of the federal funding opportunities and infrastructure investments in the months and years ahead, we can simultaneously modernize every school building in the state, create thousands of union jobs, and take significant steps toward meeting our state’s Act on Climate goals.

With the passage of two transformative school construction bonds in 2018 and 2022, the state has already begun the hard work of improving and modernizing school facilities throughout the state. Each of these statewide school construction bonds include generous, time-limited bonuses to increase the State reimbursement on projects that address health and safety issues, enhance early childhood education, career and technical education, as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) facilities, and requires ongoing maintenance investments to sustain facility improvements.

Since the passage of the 2018 School Construction Bond, districts have been approved for over $2.2 billion in funding to repair or replace 202 school buildings in 32 school districts, benefiting over 100,000 students annually. This investment has created over 36,000 jobs while enhancing educational outcomes for students.

Now it is time to double down on this investment. Join us in supporting the Green and Healthy Schools initiative, a campaign dedicated to transitioning every public-school to net-zero energy by 2035. Representative Art Handy has introduced this legislation in the House (H-6008) and Senate Majority Leader Ryan Pearson has introduces this legislation in the Senate (S-0537).

It’s time to fully transition our schools into the clean energy future with good, skilled union jobs. An investment in our children and our workers is an investment in our communities. Putting Rhode Island on the path to green and healthy schools with strong labor standards allows us to combat climate change, keep our kids and staff safe, improve learning outcomes, keep money in our communities, and create thousands of good union jobs.

Let's not waste this golden opportunity to modernize and fully decarbonize our school buildings by 2035. Pass House Bill 6008 and Senate Bill 0537!