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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Capitol Hill

William La Jeunesse

Los Angeles, CA


Your Money for ‘Green’ Schools?

April 22, 2010 - 11:24 PM | by: William La Jeunesse

A large chunk of your state income taxes goes to education, and schools benefit from a portion of your local property taxes, too.

Now the federal government is considering a big increase in its spending on school construction — with your money.

Already, as federal taxpayers, we pay $70 billion a year for K-12 education, much of it going to teacher salaries and school lunches.

Then last year, Congress approved another $56 billion for school construction, renovation and repairs in the economic stimulus bill.


But now Congress is considering another bill — the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act — sponsored by Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., and 25 other Democrats. They say it would create a “healthier, safer and more energy-efficient teaching environment by requiring schools to use green materials.”

Some studies, however, say “green” schools are notoriously over budget and consistenly fail to save the energy they promise.

The House has passed the bill, and it now is under consideration in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office’s estimate puts the 5-year cost of the bill at $32.9 billion.

What do you think? You can estimate how much the bill would cost you over those five years by using’s latest tax calculator.

For example, people who earn under $15,000 a year would pay an average of $1.41 to fund the bill. Those making $30,000 to $50,000 would average $53 over five years. And the average for people making $100,000 to $200,000 is $406.

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