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Condition of public school facilities

What are the current conditions of America's public school facilities?


The report Condition of America's Public School Facilities provides information about the condition of public school facilities in the 201213 school year. In the 201213 school year:

  • Almost all (99 percent) of the schools had permanent buildings, and 31 percent had portable (temporary) buildings. Among schools with permanent buildings, the overall condition of about three-quarters of the permanent buildings was described as excellent (20 percent) or good (56 percent); 21 percent were in fair condition, and 3 percent were in poor condition. Among schools with portable buildings, overall condition was excellent in 6 percent, good in 49 percent, fair in 36 percent, and poor in 9 percent.

  • Among public schools with permanent buildings, the building systems/features were rated as being in fair or poor condition in their permanent buildings in 14 to 32 percent of the schools: windows (32 percent); plumbing/lavatories (31 percent); heating system, air conditioning system, and ventilation/filtration system (30 percent each); energy management system, security systems, and exterior lighting (29 percent each); roofs, interior finishes/trim, and internal communication systems (25 percent each); electrical system (22 percent); technology infrastructure (21 percent); interior lighting and life safety features (19 percent each); exterior walls/finishes (18 percent); and framing, floors, and foundations (14 percent).

  • Among public schools with portable (temporary) buildings, the building systems/features were rated as being in fair or poor condition in their portable buildings in 29 to 45 percent of the schools: windows and exterior lighting (45 percent each); interior finishes/trim (43 percent); roofs and exterior walls/finishes (42 percent each); framing, floors, and foundations (41 percent); ventilation/filtration system, and energy management system (41 percent each); security systems (40 percent); plumbing/lavatories and air conditioning systems (37 percent each); heating systems (36 percent); internal communication systems and technology infrastructure (33 percent each); electrical system and interior lighting (30 percent each); and life safety features (29 percent).

  • The condition of the following outdoor features was rated as fair or poor in public schools that had that feature: school parking lots and roadways (36 percent); fencing (32 percent); bus lanes and drop-off areas (31 percent); outdoor athletic facilities (31 percent); covered walkways (28 percent); school sidewalks and walkways (27 percent); and outdoor play areas/playgrounds (27 percent).

  • Based on survey responses, 53 percent of public schools needed to spend money on repairs, renovations, and modernizations to put the school's onsite buildings in good overall condition. The total amount needed was estimated to be approximately $197 billion, and the average dollar amount for schools needing to spend money was about $4.5 million per school.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). Condition of America's Public School Facilities (NCES 2014-022).

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education