Evans and McEachin Join to Introduce the Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act of 2017

February 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Yesterday, Congressman Dwight Evans and Congressman Donald McEachin introduced the Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act of 2017, HR 922, in the 115th Congress. 

HR 922 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow rehabilitation expenditures for a qualified public educational facility (defined as a school facility which is part of a public elementary or secondary school and is owned by a private, for-profit corporation pursuant to a public-private agreement) to qualify for the rehabilitation tax credit.  

Congressman Evans: “Local school districts often face costly school renovations which result in children attending schools that are in disrepair and in dire need of necessary improvements.  Investing in education infrastructure is one of the best investments we can make because it puts people to work immediately building modern, safe schools and gives our children an opportunity for a world-class education that will prepare them for the jobs of the 21st century.”

Congressman McEachin: “With this bill we will be able more easily access funding to update and improve our public school facilities across the country.  America’s children deserve to learn in nothing less in safe and updated facilities. I know many schools in my congressional district are in need and this legislation will make a big difference,” said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04).   

Currently, the historic tax credit program requires reuse of a building in a way that is different from its original function.  This restriction is what currently hinders local governments from partnering with private developers to rehabilitate schools. 

Similar legislation enacted in the state of Virginia had bipartisan support.  The renovation of Maggie L. Walker High in Richmond, Virginia, built during the Depression, was transformed into a regional magnet school and enjoyed bipartisan regional support.  Virginia has shown that it is possible and necessary to work together to help our young people succeed.  It is foreseeable that there are tax-credit-eligible modernization projects nationwide.  The program was a result of a successful state policy and it should be replicated on a federal level.