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At Baker Heights Elementary, everything seems to be coming apart, and it’s Timothy Scott’s job to try to patch whatever’s broken — whether it be falling ceiling tiles or a water fountain falling off the wall.

“It could be fixed, it could be repaired, but we’re pulling funding from the classroom,” Scott said.

Baker, Louisiana, just outside Baton Rouge, is home to roughly 12,000 people. Money is tight, and the population and tax base are shrinking. The infrastructure, including five school buildings that were all built in the 1950s, is crumbling.

Across the U.S., the average public school building is now nearly half a century old, and communities like Baker are facing a lot of repairs. Although Congress allocated more than $1 trillion to rebuild America’s infrastructure in 2021, many schools across the country are growing desperate to fund the much-needed repairs.

To date, the infrastructure law has funded more than 40,000 projects across the country. But in many cases, the money reaches communities like Baker too slowly.

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