Specter and Casey Announce Over $145 Million for the Philadelphia City School District

Stimulus funds will finance construction, much needed improvements and updates to public school facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S.  Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey announced today that the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Education have awarded $145,352,000 in construction bonds to the Philadelphia City School District for much needed public school infrastructure improvements and construction.  This investment into the school district is contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

Recovery Act school construction bonds help state and local governments obtain low-cost financing, providing for repairs and upgrades to existing facilities as well as the potential acquisition of land for new public schools.  Additionally, the bonds will help stimulate job growth through various construction projects and by an ongoing effort to retain public school teachers.  

“I am pleased to see stimulus funds being used to enhance the educational infrastructure of the Philadelphia City School District,” said Senator Specter. “There is no doubt our students and teachers deserve a safe and up-to-date learning environment, and these bonds are an important investment into our future.”

“By ensuring that Pennsylvania students have the best possible environment for learning, we are investing in the bright futures of the youth of our Commonwealth,” said Senator Casey. “I’m happy to see Recovery Act funds going to the Philadelphia City School District to improve their facilities so they may continue to provide young Pennsylvanians with a top-notch education.”

Today’s funding was part of a larger announcement made by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of Education providing for the issuance of $11 billion for qualified school construction bonds by states and large local educational agencies in 2009 and $11 billion in 2010.  The qualified school construction bonds help state and local governments obtain low-cost financing.  Investors who buy these bonds receive Federal income tax credits at prescribed tax credit rates in lieu of interest.  These tax credit bonds essentially allow state and local governments to borrow without incurring interest costs.  Pennsylvania received a total of $286,677,000 for Recovery Act school construction bonds. 

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