Obama Jobs Act Could Mean Big Improvements for CPS

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Today, President Obama submitted to Congress the American Jobs Act, a bill designed to jumpstart economic growth and job creation.  If it passes, it could also mean some Cincinnati Public School students would have new or vastly improved schools.

The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools.  This investment will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading schools to meet 21st century needs.  Ohio could potentially receive close to a billion dollars in funding for K-12 schools, resulting in as many as 12,800 jobs.

Cincinnati Public Schools was identified by the White House as possibly getting as much as $61.1 million.  Fox 19 spoke with Superintendent Mary Ronan about how that money could be spent.  She said Taft STEM Elementary in Mt. Auburn could get a brand new building.  Hyde Park Elementary could be completely renovated.  On the West side, Gamble Montessori could either be renovated, or get an entirely new building.  She also said the district could look into partnering with companies who run charter schools, to potentially work with them in building a new charter school in the city.  "It would be very exciting, if this were to come true," Ronan said.

At Taft STEM Elementary, Principal Wayne Lane was happy to show us around his school, which has been in existence since the late 1950's.  He says students cope with hot days - so hot in fact that on the school's second floor, it once reached 113 degrees inside classrooms.  Lane also told us his 400 students face long lines for small restrooms, leaky windows, overcrowded classrooms, and they have no playground.

Lane would love to see bright, new, spacious surroundings in which to teach those little minds, "They're resilient. But we as the community, as Cincinnati Public Schools, as the government could do a lot more to help students achieve."

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