U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) Oct. 7 introduced the bipartisan Investing in 21st Century Schools Act, to renew a program that assists eligible Wisconsin schools with accessing money to make needed improvements. These improvements could range from building a new curriculum to upgrading the facilities in order to give students the opportunity to compete in 21st century jobs.
“One of the smartest investments we can make is investing in education for young people. In order to have the opportunity to compete in the new global economy our students will need to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. This bill would ensure Wisconsin schools continue to have access to funds to help expand education programs, purchase new technology, and upgrade facilities,” Kind said.
The bill would extend the Qualified Zone Activity Bonds (QZABs) program for schools. QZABs are 10-25 year loans the federal government pays interest on. Loans may be used for facilities renovation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, equipment, curriculum development, or teacher training. Because the federal government provides the interest payment, the district then is typically only responsible for repaying the value of the bond.