Panel OKs Education Department to build schools

Associated Press + More

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has voted to allow the Department of Education to fund new construction projects for districts that have seen traumatic events in their schools.

The voice vote Wednesday in the Senate education committee would pave the way for districts such as those in Newtown, Conn., to apply for federal dollars to build a new school. The Education Department currently does not build schools.

Last year's shooting in Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary left 20 children and six educators dead. Students are now attending classes in a neighboring town.

The Education Department has given Newtown schools $1.3 million so far to pay for counseling.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut says the department should be allowed to pay for buildings, as well, as lawmakers rewrite No Child Left Behind.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.