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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Statement on Passage of Bill Providing Relief for Schools Affected by Crumbling Foundations

February 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, remarked on the Committee’s passage of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act (H.R. 865), which contains provisions authored by Courtney to provide relief for schools facing structural damage amid the crumbling concrete foundations crisis. The Committee-passed legislation included Congressman Courtney’s amendment which will add repairs to crumbling foundations due to pyrrhotite as an allowable use of funds that can be dispersed to eradicate “severe health and safety threats” to schools. Moreover, the bill contains an important new title authored by Courtney to create a new grant program for schools to repair or replace their foundation or any affected structures deteriorating due to pyrrhotite. This amendment was included as Title V in the final version of the bill, which was reported out of the House Education and Labor Committee by a vote of 26-20, and will now proceed to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.

“I am very pleased that the Education and Labor Committee today reported out a school infrastructure bill which includes a section I authored to help local municipalities with the cost of repairing or reconstructing school buildings that have been impacted by crumbling foundations due to the presence of pyrrhotite,” said Congressman Courtney. “We know that Birch Grove Primary School in Tolland, CT has already discovered pyrrhotite in the concrete foundation of the school.  I’m a strong supporter of the overall bill to rebuild America’s public school buildings, and the Committee’s recognition that help federal assistance is needed to address the issue of crumbling foundations in schools is a great victory for these communities that have been so seriously harmed by the crumbling foundations crisis.”

Courtney’s amendment is included in Title V of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, and would not reduce federal funding to other schools and local education organizations already receiving funding through the main provisions of the bill. Courtney’s amendment was written in response to notification that crumbling foundations have affected schools and municipal buildings, in addition to residential homes and condominiums.

On February 25, 2019, Congressman John Larson (CT-01) wrote to House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott to express support for the provisions Rep. Courtney authored in this bill. Click here to read more.

On February 14, 2019, Congressman Courtney issued a press release highlighting the passage of two additional amendments he introduced aimed at providing relief to homeowners harmed amid the crumbling foundations crisis.

Click here to access a section by section overview of the Rebuilding America’s Schools Act. To view the full text of the bill, click here.

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