A bill authorizing $6.9 billion for public school construction has cleared the House, but it’s uncertain whether it will go any further. The 250-164 vote on June 4 is short of the two-thirds margin needed to override a threatened veto. There is no Senate companion bill yet. Even if the bill is enacted, its authorizations would be subject to annual appropriations.
The House bill would authorize $6.4 billion in 2009 for districts receiving federal Title I aid, which goes to schools with large numbers of poor children. It also would authorize $500 million over five years for Gulf Coast schools. The bill would have Davis-Bacon Act prevailing-wage requirements apply to work funded by the grants.
Most construction funds for public schools come from local or state governments.