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ATL
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Atlanta
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ATL
Digi

Atlanta
Digital

 

Nearly one-third of public schools (31 percent) have one or more non-permanent (portable) buildings in use on their campus. In addition, major repair, renovation, or modernization work was being performed in 21 percent of all public schools at the end of 2023. The average age of the main instructional building among reporting U.S. public schools is 49 years, with 38 percent constructed before 1970.¹ These findings are based on new data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

“The condition of our school facilities plays a critical role in the education of more than 49 million U.S public school students,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “School facilities provide a setting for learning and affect health and comfort of the school’s students and staff. As such, these data provide insight into the current condition of our schools as the nation continues down the road to learning recovery.”

Public Schools
(Photo: Adobe Stock / GrB)

 

NCES is the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). These findings are part of an experimental data product from the School Pulse Panel (SPP). NCES developed SPP to deliver timely information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public K-12 schools in the U.S. The data, collected between December 7 and 21 of 2023, came from 1,625 participating public K-12 schools from every state and the District of Columbia.

The State Of Public School Facilities

Air quality inside and outside of public schools was among the issues addressed with the NCES data: 39 percent of schools have an Indoor Air Quality Coordinator (IAQC) on campus who is responsible for monitoring air quality conditions at the school and reporting air quality issues and complaints. More than half (60 percent) of schools have designated vehicle loading and unloading areas at least 25 feet from all building air intakes, including doors and windows. And, 18 percent of schools have an anti-idling program in place, which includes signage and active monitoring during pick-up and drop-off times for students.

“School facilities provide a setting for learning and affect health and comfort of the school’s students and staff. As such, these data provide insight into the current condition of our schools as the nation continues down the road to learning recovery.”

— NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr

Here are some additional findings among reporting U.S. public schools²:

  • The average age of the main instructional building is 49 years old. The following percentages of reporting public schools’ main instructional buildings were built during the following time periods:
    • Pre-1970: 38 percent
    • 1970 – 1999: 21 percent
    • 2000 – present: 20 percent
  • Forty-seven percent reported that their main instructional building has undergone a major renovation since it was built, with 29 percent reporting this renovation has occurred since 2010.

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  • Forty-six percent reported that they have had a major building replacement or addition to the school since it was built, with 26 percent reporting the replacement or addition has occurred since 2010.

Notes

¹ These data were reported by 80 percent of public schools. 20 percent of public schools reported that they did not know the year when their school’s main instructional building was constructed.
² Between 20 and 22 percent of schools responded “don’t know” to questions about the age of their main instructional building, major renovations, and major replacements or additions.

Facility Executive Magazine