The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently shared information on how school districts can file for tax credits for clean energy infrastructure through the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides for the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history.
Under the act, K-12 school districts can seek assistance from the National Center on School Infrastructure, which will provide technical assistance to states and districts on federal opportunities that support school infrastructure, including new tax credits.
The U.S. Department of Education is working with the president’s administration to lead school infrastructure efforts, including through an Infrastructure and Sustainability initiative, which includes the USDOE’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition award, private sector school infrastructure and sustainability commitments, an annual Green Strides Tour, as well as other public engagement on these topics.
The USDOE also partners with federal agencies such as Treasury, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others to provide resources, funds, and tax incentives that enhance equitable access to healthy, safe, sustainable, and modern school facilities. For example, the DOE now administers the Renew America’s Schools program focused on energy improvements at public school facilities. In addition, its Efficient and Healthy Schools Program leverages expertise to benefit schools and offers recognition for their efforts. The Energy CLASS Prize builds capacity within districts to identify and implement energy and health improvements.
There are currently numerous air quality initiatives at the EPA, including a significant investment in clean school buses, including both grants and rebates, with another $500 million round of rebates open until Jan. 31, and water quality programs such as the Voluntary School and Childcare Lead Testing and Reduction Grant. An additional $2 billion for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution in underserved communities is available through the Community Change Grants.
Working together with various agencies at the intersection of schools, climate, environmental justice, and infrastructure, the White House published a toolkit sharing federal resources for addressing school infrastructure needs in April 2022 with an update to this toolkit anticipated to be released in 2024.