Sen. Mark Warner visits Waynesboro High School to talk infrastructure, funding

Warner toured a section of the high school that was built in the 1970′s and is in need of renovations.
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) visited the Valley on Friday and made a stop at Waynesboro High School to meet with school leaders from across Virginia to discuss infrastructure and the funding making its way to schools.

Warner toured a section of the high school that was built in the 1970s and is in need of renovations and heard questions and concerns from school leaders about American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Bristol Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Perrigan said the timeframe for spending the money is concerning because they may not be able to get the projects they need to be done by the deadline of 2024.

“With the number of supply chain issues we’ve got, you can’t just get the equipment you need to build that new roof in a smart way by that time frame, so I wanna go back and see if we can extend that timeframe to 2026. That is the same timeframe for example that the city of Waynesboro has,” Warner said.

Warner said he is also working to lessen the restrictions on what school districts can spend the money on.

Another concern brought up was the certification requirements for school bus drivers. Some fear the extensive process may be deterring people from getting behind the wheel.

“I didn’t fully understand that to be able to able to drive a school bus you got to get the same license that you have to use to drive an 18-wheeler. That doesn’t make any sense to me. There ought to be a way that we can train school bus drivers to drive safely but maybe not have the full requirements of driving an 18-wheeler,” Warner said.

At Friday’s visit, Warner also gave updates on the infrastructure bills that are on the Congress floor.

He expressed his frustration that the infrastructure bills have not been passed and said he believes there are many benefits to passing the legislation like reducing the cost of insulin.

“What’s been crazy is it’s been Democrats fighting democrats and fighting about numbers, as opposed to explaining to people what is going to happen, “Warner said.

On Friday, Democratic leaders in the House postponed the $1.85 trillion social and environmental measure from being passed.

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