The Center for Cities & Schools at the University of California, Berkeley, recently released a report on school facilities commission by the California Department of Education. The report “identifies key policy linkages between school facility policy and the state’s climate change goals.” Additionally, the report suggests that, “Strategically locating schools, ensuring safe walking routes, reinvesting in our 10,000 existing schools, and fostering increased district and city collaboration will be key in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and creating a healthy California for today and the future.”
The report calculates that $117 Billion in capital investment will be needed and recommends that it be prioritized to address the needs of existing facilities, particularly through improving “substandard learning environments and eliminating deferred maintenance needs through annual capital renewals investments, major modernizations for both life-safety and educational program delivery, and – where necessary – full replacement of outmoded buildings that hinder health, safety, and/or quality teaching and learning.
The release of the report has started conversations about the need for a future school facilities bond measure, perhaps as soon as 2014.
The report contains several recommendations, including
- the need for a master plan for the state’s K-12 infrastructure investment;
- the need for local planning that advances quality education and sustainable communities;
- the gathering of information on existing school facilities to allow facilities with the highest need to receive priority in funding;
- collaboration between the California Department of Education, design professionals, educators, and communities to review the Title 5 standards; and
- the use of multiple revenue sources should to finance school facility projects.
The complete report can be viewed here.
What do you think about California extending itself again for more school construction?