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PK-12 Public Educational Facilities Master Plan Evaluation Guide
Use this guide to learn school facilities master plan standards and rate your school district on their use of the guide's standards in planning.
For Generations To Come: A Leadership Guide to Renewing Public School Buildings
This guide provides a framework for community involvement in the complex process of modernizing or building new public school buildings.
Planning Board passes schools capital budget with caveat
Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun
March 7, 2014
-- The Baltimore County Planning Board on Thursday gave its stamp of approval to the school board's $56.2 million capital budget request for fiscal year 2015, though it attached a caveat to a controversial school construction plan approved in the budget.
In a memo to Baltimore County's Director of Budget and Finance Keith Dorsey, the Planning Board urged further discussions with stakeholders about the three-part central area elementary school overcrowding relief plan that, includes the closure of Halstead Academy in Hillendale.
The plan calls for Halstead's student population to be moved to a new school at the site of Loch Raven Elementary School, which has been closed for over three decades. The school plan also calls for the creation of a neighborhood boundary and a 189-seat addition for Cromwell Valley Magnet Elementary in Towson, as well as the renovation of Halstead for a future undetermined magnet use.
Several affected communities, including Loch Raven Village and Hillendale, have protested the plan saying they have not had ample opportunity to provide input. Since the plan first emerged, Baltimore County Public Schools has altered it slightly to accommodate community concerns — but area leaders say those alterations are not enough.
In the budget memo, the board expressed its concern about the school plan.
"Therefore, the Planning Board encourages the County Executive, Baltimore County Public Schools and the affected citizens [to] continue to meet and discuss the various proposals with the goal of reaching an agreement on a solution to resolve the overcrowding in the central corridor," the memo read.
Norfolk should close three schools, report says
Cherise M. Newsome
March 6, 2014
-- A consultant has recommended closing three schools and using the existing Lake Taylor High building as a career and technical school as the division grapples with declining enrollment.
But the School Board took no formal action on the final report Wednesday after a monthslong demographics study conducted by DeJong-Richter, an educational facilities planning firm, to improve building usage.
Norfolk Public Schools paid the company $190,000 to provide suggestions on how to decentralize impoverished schools as well as attract and retain more students.
The report recommended closing Lafayette-Winona Middle and another to-be-determined middle school along with Willoughby Elementary, whose students would feed into a new Ocean View Elementary. The division also should change grade levels at several elementary and middle schools and redraw attendance boundaries to mirror housing and population trends, the report said. Several schools would incorporate magnet-style specialty programs to promote school choice and increase socioeconomic diversity at impoverished schools. Lake Taylor had been slated for demolition, but the report recommends using the building for a career and technical school.
Ky. House panel defeats bill seeking to exempt school projects from prevailing wage
The Associated Press, Daily Reporter
March 6, 2014
-- A Kentucky House committee has defeated a bill that would have exempted school construction projects from the state's prevailing wage law.
The proposal was sponsored by several Republicans. The measure was rejected by the Democratic-led House Labor and Industry Committee on Thursday.
The state's prevailing wage law requires governments in Kentucky to pay union scale wages on construction projects.
The bill would have excluded the construction of any elementary, secondary or postsecondary education building from the law.
Supporters of the bill said it would save money on school construction projects.
The bill's opponents said the prevailing wage makes sure construction workers receive a "livable income." They said that weakening the prevailing wage would shrink the middle class and reduce incomes for some workers.
Condition of America's Public School Facilities in 2012-13
Debbie Alexander Laurie Lewis (Westat), National Center for Education Statistics
March 6, 2014
-- This report provides national estimates on the condition of public school facilities. The study presented in this report collected information about the condition of public school facilities in the 2012-13 school year.
Minnesota Legislature: Task force presents ideas to even schools facilities funding
Christopher Magan, TwinCities.com
March 5, 2014
-- When a roof springs a leak in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district, it typically gets fixed within 24 hours.
"And I don't mean a bucket under a ceiling tile to catch the drips," said Heather Nosan, a project manager for the district.
To fund the repair and replace the roof when needed, the district taps money raised through an alternative facilities levy.
Only 25 districts are part of the alternative facilities program that allows them to raise tax dollars without voter approval for school facilities. The rest have to dip into the general fund for sudden repairs or win voter approval of a tax request to pay for more costly infrastructure repairs.
Nosan was one of 22 members of the School Facilities Financing Working Group that spent the past six months outlining ways to fix that disparity. The task force summarized its proposals Tuesday at a joint meeting of the state House and Senate education finance committees.
"We can't have a system of financing where some districts have an advantage over others," said Robert Indihar, superintendent of Moose Lake schools and co-chair of the task force.
Next week, a bill incorporating some of the task force's recommendations is expected to go before the Senate Finance Committee. It includes putting $50 million in the 2015-16 budget for school facilities financing.
That's a start, but task force members told lawmakers Wednesday that it could take an estimated $300 million in new funding annually to make the way Minnesota pays for school facilities "adequate, equitable and sustainable."
School advocates say the current system is unbalanced, with only larger districts with aging buildings eligible for a reliable stream of revenue to address building maintenance. Districts in the alternative facilities funding program get about $298 per student more annually than districts not in the program, about $750,000 more annually for the average-sized district.
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