Millions of Children, Teachers, and Staff are Returning to School. Are They in the Buildings They Ne

August 14, 2012

Today, we share a special message from our friends at 21st Century School Fund. 

On the first day of school, our school buildings and grounds are always at their best. Our school staff, service providers, municipal agencies and community volunteers all work together to make sure classrooms are clean, grass is cut and flower beds are mulched; small repairs are done; paint is applied; mechanical systems are ready; and supplies and materials are in place for the millions of teachers and students who will attend our schools over the next school year. Construction crews that have been doing major projects over the summer are on long shifts to make sure the construction crews can leave and the children can arrive.

Let’s celebrate the 2012-2013 opening of the school year, but also examine whether we are really doing all we should to make sure we have healthy and safe school buildings and grounds that advance education quality and equity and support sustainable communities.

  • Find out what your states and local districts are doing to plan for and fund ongoing and deferred maintenance and to provide for school construction spending in these uncertain economic times
  • There is a bill – Fix America’s Schools Today – that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate which would provide $30 billion in federal funding for K12 public schools and community colleges to address the problems of deferred maintenance in public schools-reducing local and state backlogs by about 10%.  Do your representatives support this bill?  If not, what would they propose to reduce our nation’s public education infrastructure deficit?
  • Ask elected officials and those running for office what they propose doing to support and ensure that all children have healthy, safe and educationally adequate school buildings and grounds to attend
  • Contact your local public schools and find out how you can volunteer to participate in local school clean-ups and beautification days…not just at the beginning of the year, but throughout the school year…OR go to US Green Building Council’s Green Apple Day of Service to join a school improvement project in your area
  • Join the Through Your Lens campaign and take a photo of conditions in your school, post it on your Facebook page and tag it to Through Your Lens Facebook Photo Gallery