US Schools Need $542B in Repairs: Report
Bill Clinton calls for federal review
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 12, 2013 10:43 AM CDT
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during Samsung's keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – America's schools are in such disrepair that it would cost more than $270 billion just to get elementary and secondary school buildings back to their original conditions—and twice that to get them up to date, a report released today estimates. In a foreword to the report, Bill Clinton said that "we are still struggling to provide equal opportunity" to children and urged the first federal study of school buildings in almost two decades.

The Center for Green Schools' researchers reviewed spending and estimates that schools spent $211 billion on upkeep between 1995 and 2008. During that time, schools should have spent some $482 billion, the group calculated. That left a $271 billion gap between what should have been spent on upkeep and what was—or $5,450 per student, the group reported. To update the buildings, the figure doubles, to $542 billion over the next decade. "When we talk about a quality education, we talk about the 'who' and the 'what'— teachers and curriculum—but we don't talk about the 'where.' That needs to change," says a green building advocate.

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Mar 13, 2013 6:51 AM CDT
Great, now we are going to get a buch of people saying the Fed's need to pay for the repairs needed to bring these schools up to date. Wrong, this is not a federal problem. This is a locale problem, or at least it is where I live. The locale schools are funded by taxes. It's up to the voters to say if they want a tax increase in either their sales tax or property tax to fund these programs. Sure the schools get some funds for programs. But I for one can say that our locale schools don't take any federal funds, all of our schools programs are funded by the locale people and we are rated in the top 3% of my states schools. The people here have never failed to pass a tax increase that was just for the schools. So for all those who say the Fed's should pay for it, remember this. The Federal Goverment has never paid for anything, that's right, never. It has always been the taxpayer and always will be the taxpayer.
Mar 13, 2013 5:31 AM CDT
Throwing money at school buildings will not improve education. We need parents that give a damn.
Mar 12, 2013 5:38 PM CDT
Sorry, according to the GOP that money is reserved for big business.