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Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks Monday on a White House plan to upgrade public school facilities to make them more energy efficient.
Watch Harris’ remarks in the player above.
The plan includes a $500 million grant to build new infrastructure that can lower energy costs and improve air quality in schools. The plan would prioritize schools most in need of upgrades.
“For decades, our country has chronically underinvested in our public schools. And far too many of our school districts have gone without important repairs and upgrades to buildings and to classrooms,” Harris said while speaking at Thomas Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
READ MORE: With students in turmoil, U.S. teachers train in mental health
She highlighted among other initiatives improvements that became important during the COVID-19 pandemic: modern HVAC systems in aging school buildings and the need for good indoor airflow to curb the spread of the virus.
The plan will also push for investment in fully electric school buses to replace the current fleet of largely diesel-powered vehicles.
“Every day, millions of children ride on diesel school buses, breathing toxic fumes that can harm their health,” Harris said.
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