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Smith backs legislation to invest $100 billion in education

According to a news release, Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., announced her support for legislation that would provide significant investments to both physical and digital infrastructure in schools across the country.

The legislation enjoys widespread support from educators and parent advocacy groups in Minnesota and across the country, according to a news release.

The Rebuild America's Schools Act would create grant and tax bond programs over 10 years and reportedly would create over 1.9 million jobs by bringing high-poverty and minority-serving schools into good condition and by expanding access to high-speed internet necessary for digital learning.

"This is something I hear time and time again as I meet with Minnesotans across the state: If we want to make sure students in Greater Minnesota, and urban areas, are able to get the high-quality education necessary to prepare for their futures, we have to make sure students, teachers and administrators are set up for success with safe learning environments." said Smith, a member of the Senate Education Committee, in a news release. "Students in schools across Minnesota and our country deserve quality school facilities and the ability to connect to digital learning regardless of what district they live in. This legislation would make the investments necessary to create opportunity for students while also creating good, American jobs."

According to the release, the Rebuild America's Schools Act would invest over $100 billion and create over 1.9 million jobs by addressing critical physical and digital infrastructure needs in schools. This bill would:

• Create a $70 billion grant program and $30 billion tax credit bond program targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff.

• Leverage federal, state, and local resources for an overall investment of $107 billion, creating over 1.9 million jobs based on an Economic Policy Institute analysis that each $1 billion spent on construction creates 17,785 jobs.

• Develop a comprehensive national database on the condition of public school facilities; such a national database currently does not exist and would provide insight into the condition of public schools, the release stated.

• Make investments in broadband to help ensure public schools have the reliable and high-speed internet access students need for digital learning.