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News “2013 State of Our Schools” Report from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC

Our schools are in dire need of updating and repair.  Here is a synopsis of the latest report on our school facilities.

Report includes foreword from former President Bill Clinton and

highlights $271 billion deficit to bring school facilities up to working order

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 12, 2013) –The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green

Building Council (USGBC) today released its first “State of our Schools” report, highlighting the

critical need to modernize school facilities to meet current health, safety and educational


The report, featuring a foreword by former President Bill Clinton, states that schools are

currently facing a $271 billion deferred maintenance bill just to bring the buildings up to working

order – approximately $5,450 per student.

The last comprehensive report on America’s school facilities was conducted by the Government

Accountability Office (GAO) in 1995 and indicated that 15,000 U.S. schools were circulating air

that at the time was deemed unfit to breathe. The USGBC report calls on the GAO to conduct

an updated survey on the condition of America’s schools in order to paint a more complete

picture of the scale and scope of today’s needs. The USGBC report also estimates that the cost

to both bring schools into good repair and address modernization needs is $542 billion over the

next 10 years for Pre-K-12 school buildings.

“The places where our children learn matter. This report is a critical first step to taking action

and creating healthy, sustainable school buildings,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and

founding chair, USGBC. “Schools are the backbone of our communities, and it is unacceptable

that we would allow any of our children to show up in classrooms that compromise their ability to

learn. We must do more.”

“Approximately 50 million students attend the nearly 100,000 public elementary and secondary

schools in the United States. Many of these schools barely meet today’s standards, yet it’s been

an astonishing 18 years since the last comprehensive study on school conditions was

conducted,” said Rachel Gutter, director, Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “We are

confident Congress will take up the charge to commission a new report on the state of

educational facilities across the country. We can’t continue to ignore a problem just because we

don’t understand the extent of it.”