According to a new report released by the Council of the Great City Schools, 77 percent of major city school systems need funds for repairs, renovations, modernization and new construction to meet 21st century educational needs. The report, “Facility Needs and Costs in America's Great City Schools (www.cgcs.org under “What's New”),” states that the total facilities needs in 50 major city public school districts amount to more than $61 billion.
“Our children only get one shot at a good education. They deserve better than crumbling school buildings and half-century-old science labs. This report is further proof that America's schools critically need the funds proposed by the President in the American Jobs Act,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The Act will provide billions for school modernization, which will help give our children the world-class education they deserve.”
Some of the nation's largest school districts have some of the country's oldest and most overcrowded school buildings. The President's American Jobs Act plan will invest $30 billion in enhancing the condition of these schools–with $25 billion going to K-12 schools for repair, renovation and modernization. While this bill would help finance long overdue repairs, it also would create needed jobs and help put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work.
The report released today surveyed 50 of the largest school districts in the country to determine the scope and scale of repairing and upgrading facilities. The survey determined that the school districts have substantial construction, renovation, modernization and deferred maintenance needs because of the age and size of school buildings, shifting populations, and the need to devote resources to instructional personnel to meet their core academic mission.