Press Release

July 7, 2023
Cardin, Van Hollen, Ruppersberger Announce Over $1 Million for Baltimore County Public School Infrastructure, Energy Improvement Project
This funding is made possible through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act the lawmakers fought to pass

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (all D-Md.) today announced $1,273,989 in Department of Energy (DOE) funding to help Baltimore County’s Watershed Public Charter School upgrade its facility to improve the learning environment, air quality, and health outcomes for students and staff.

The federal investment comes through the DOE’s $500 million Renew America’s Schools grant program, funded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which supports energy improvement projects in high-need K–12 schools. These federal funds will help upgrade the HVAC and lighting systems and install additional solar panels and EV charging stations. Not only will this bolster classroom comfort and help with critical health conditions such as asthma, but it will also improve the school’s energy efficiency, lower its energy costs and shrink its carbon footprint.

“Watershed’s innovative, environment-centered approach to education fosters in young Marylanders an understanding of how the decisions we make today impact our world in the future,” said the lawmakers. “This federal investment will help ensure that the school’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in both its mission and its facilities. These upgrades will not only further its energy efficiency goals and cut emissions, but also advance our broader effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change and create a healthier environment.”

Watershed Public Charter School is an environmental arts charter school that was awarded a Renew America’s Schools grant for its energy efficiency and air quality improvement project. It is among the 24 schools across the country selected to share in approximately $178 million of funding, enabling them to pursue diverse projects to lower energy costs, lower emissions, and create healthier, safer, and more supportive learning environments in their schools. Watershed aims to become a model for other Baltimore County Public Schools and schools nationwide to follow.

The Renew America’s Schools program builds on the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure and the Administration’s broader commitment to ensure that America’s children have what they need to thrive with new clean school buses, net zero schools, energy efficiency, improved air quality, and clean energy at rural schools.