Creating jobs by building schools
President-elect Obama says he has a plan to save or create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. Workers can pave roads, build bridges and -- and -- modernize schools.
On the Open Society Institute's Audacious Ideas blog this week, Bebe Verdery of the ACLU of Maryland proposes that Obama create jobs by rebuilding schools in Baltimore. Better yet, she says, make the new buildings green.
Verdery, a longtime advocate for city school funding, notes that Baltimore's school buildings "need $2.7 billion in renovation/construction to meet industry standards." With state money for school construction a tiny fraction of what the city needs, it has long seemed a far-fetched notion that the children of Baltimore would all go to school in modern, well-lit buildings. And in these economic times, we know, the belt is only getting tighter.
But if the nation is going to spend the money to create new jobs anyway, why not put people to work rebuilding the city's schools?