USGBC: $46B US School Funding Deficit Impacting K-12 Facilities
On Wednesday, the US Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools, the 21st Century School Fund and the National Council on School Facilities released their State of Our Schools: America's K-12 Facilities report, which describes the impact of funding on the institutions.
“It is totally unacceptable that there are millions of students across the country who are learning in dilapidated, obsolete and unhealthy facilities that pose obstacles to their learning and overall well-being," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC CEO and founding chair. "US public school infrastructure is funded through a system that is inequitably affecting our nation’s students, and this has to change.”
Only three states’ average spending levels meet or exceed the standards for investment: Texas, Florida and Georgia. The groups' analysis also found that the federal government provides almost no capital construction funding for school facilities, and state support varies widely. Local school districts can't afford the significant investments needed.
K-12 schools are the largest public building sector in the US and represent the second-largest category of public infrastructure investment, according to the report, which noted it has been more than 20 years since the federal government completed a comprehensive assessment of school facilities. At the time, more than half of US schools had indoor air quality issues; it was bad enough that 15,000 schools had air unfit to breathe. [USGBC]