The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

New Documentary Features Jamaal Bowman's Green New Deal for Public Schools

The former NYC public school principal illustrates his vision of a GND for public education as Green New Dealers ramp up demands for historic infrastructure investments in the Democrat's budget.


Congressional Democrats' have not released line-item details for their proposed $3.5 trillion budget. But after 115 degree heat waves melted roads and power cables and killed hundreds of people, the so-called "climate left" is renewing demands for Green New Deal-sized investments in public housing and public schools, winning allies in and out of Congress.

This week, the public advocacy arm of Justice Democrats, Organize for Justice (OFJ), released a new documentary illustrating how a Green New Deal for Public Education would transform public schools in the Bronx and beyond. Rep. Jamaal Bowman introduced HR.4442 "to establish a Green New Deal for Public Schools" in Congress last week.

"For over a year, our kids have been stuck behind screens, outside of schools, without a classroom or a community to help them learn and thrive. We've asked families to stay home," said Rep. Bowman in the documentary. "What does our government owe our kids? Not just after this year, but after decades of underfunding education?"

A Green New Deal for Public Schools will invest $1.43 trillion over ten years to create safe schools, upgrade and retrofit every public school in America to run on green energy and ensure a safe, healthy, and accessible learning environment for students. According to a report published by the climate + community project think tank, the ten-year investment Bowman proposes will create 1.3 million jobs per year ("engineers, electricians, guidance counselors, teachers, coaches," Bowman says in the video). The Green New Deal for Public Schools will also eliminate carbon pollution from K-12 public school buildings, reducing annual U.S carbon emissions by 78 metric tons -- equivalent to removing 17 million fossil fueled cars from American roads.

OFJ, the sister organization of Justice Democrats, is preparing to expand digital advocacy campaigns this summer, educating Democratic voters about the opportunity to invest in a transformational modernization and decarbonization of American's public infrastructure and energy system. A previous $10k ad buy from OFJ in Virginia's 3rd Congressional district, represented by Bobby Scott, chairman of the House Education & Labor Committee, urged passage of a Civilian Climate Corps funded to create 1.5 million jobs.

Today, Democrats from across the party's ideological big tent promised that at least an expanded Civilian Climate Corps will be funded in the budget. However, as Biden himself told the world, the US needs a "whole-of-government" approach to the climate crisis, and Democrats promised massive investments in modernized, decarbonized public infrastructure. Progressives will fight to ensure the Democratic Party in government delivers what American kids and families deserve.

Justice Democrats is recruiting and supporting progressive Democrats all over the country, starting with Congress. We're working to transform the Democratic Party while building independent power. We do this by running primary challengers against out-of-touch Democratic incumbents and organizing to hold the party accountable to our issues.

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