President Obama unveiled a $450 billion dollar plan to boost jobs Thursday night. About $5 billion of that would be dedicated to building and renovating facilities for community colleges and tribal colleges.
Though Obama didn’t go into detail about the funds during his speech, a White House fact sheet said the money for the institutions would bolster “their infrastructure in this time of need while ensuring their ability to serve future generations of students and communities,” according to Inside Higher Ed.
In a blog post, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote, “He proposed to invest $30 billion to put hundreds of thousands of construction workers, engineers, boiler repairmen, and electrical workers back to work rebuilding and modernizing our aging public schools and community colleges.”
“Lost in the focus on serving unprecedented numbers of students has been the pressing need for facilities modernization on our campuses,” said David S. Baime, vice president for government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges to Inside Higher Ed. “So we welcome this support.”
The proposal would also dedicate $100 billion to modernizing at least 35,000 public schools.
The plan must first be approved by Congress. Whether that will happen, of course, remains to be seen.