August 13, 2021

Educators Support Infrastructure, Jobs Act

Wisconsin educators are supporting President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will bring long-term investments directly to Wisconsin’s infrastructure and create good-paying union jobs for our students’ families.

WEAC members are especially advocating for passage of the act in advance of a new school year, understanding that strong local economies are a key factor in the well-being of our students and success of our public schools. The plan would provide for good roads for school buses to travel on, public investments that offer students more opportunities and more.

In our support of the federal infrastructure plan, WEAC is partnering with our private sector union brothers and sisters to achieve a successful result for Wisconsin. In part, the plan would help Wisconsin students and families by including funding to:

Help connect every American to reliable high-speed internet. In Wisconsin, 5.5 percent of residents live in areas without broadband infrastructure – a huge barrier to learning exposed more fully by the pandemic. For many families with access, broadband is too expensive. In all, 14 percent of Wisconsin households do not have an internet subscription. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Wisconsin would receive a minimum of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 318,000 Wisconsin residents who currently lack it. 22 percent of people in Wisconsin will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.

Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges. Wisconsin has 979 bridges and over 1,949 miles of highway in poor condition drivers pay an average of $547 a year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. Based on formula funding alone, Wisconsin would expect to receive $5.2 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years. Wisconsin can also compete for the $12.5 billion Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and nearly $16 billion of national funding for major projects.

Improve healthy, sustainable transportation. Based on formula funding alone, Wisconsin would expect to receive $592 million over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.

Deliver clean drinking water to every American and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes. Up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. Based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, Wisconsin would expect to receive $841 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is a right in all schools and communities.