Teachers union invests $15M in 'Cool Schools'

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced this week a new funding source for the

Gov. John Kitzhaber announced this week a new funding source for the "Cool Schools" initiative.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber on Thursday said a new strategic partnership with the American Federation of Techers includes up to $15 million for his Cool Schools Initiative, a project to help finance upgrades to school buildings.

In a news release Thursday, Kitzhaber said the funds would be made available through the partnership with unions and Ullico, a union-owned financial services firm based in Washington, D.C.

The partnership will work to identify investments in the infrastructure of Oregon public schools, including energy retrofits.

“Today’s announcement gives significant validation to our Cool Schools project,” Kitzhaber said in a prepared statement. “I welcome the national interest in this innovative program, and look forward to working with friends in labor and Ullico.”

The Cool Schools program, approved by the state Legislature earlier this year, provides access to financing for school districts to fix leaky roofs, upgrade inefficient lighting and heating systems, and other improvements.

Since the bill was signed, 11 school districts have applied for $9.5 million in funds for retrofits and eight districts -- Banks, Klamath Falls City, Klamath County, Milton-Freewater, Corbett, Monroe, Pine Eagle and Jefferson -- have secured capital through the program.

@ErikSiemers | esiemers@bizjournals.com | 503.219.3418


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