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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.


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More than 100,000 LA school repairs backlogged; fire safety at risk in some schools
-- Annie Gilbertson and Claire Withycombe , 89.3KPCC

California: September 18, 2014 -- From burned out light bulbs and cracked concrete to compromised fire safety systems and exposed electrical wiring, Los Angeles Unified schools are waiting on 116,000 maintenance and safety problems reported since January, records show, and officials said they don't have the staff or money to fix them all. An analysis of 165,400 repair requests filed with the school district this year showed less than a third have been addressed."We are very short staffed," said Roger Finstad, head of maintenance and operations at L.A. Unified. "We're operating at less than half the funding we had just about six years ago." L.A. Unified set aside about $100 million for repairs this year, but Finstad said it would cost about $400 million every year to get all the work done.


San Francisco to require private schools to be seismically evaluated
-- Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia, los angeles times

California: September 16, 2014 -- San Francisco will become the first city in California to close a major loophole in laws that are supposed to keep schoolchildren safe during earthquakes with a vote Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.. The board unanimously approved a law that would require private schools to find out if classroom buildings would collapse in an earthquake. The law would not require a seismic retrofit, but some schools say that they would voluntarily retrofit if they find out their buildings need strengthening to avoid deaths in the next big earthquake. Mayor Ed Lee said he will sign the law. Government officials have long known that California’s private schools generally are not regulated for seismic safety. A law was passed 28 years ago proclaiming that children attending private schools should be protected under state law as public school students are. But the California Seismic Safety Commission in 2004 concluded that many city building departments aren’t even aware of the law and don’t enforce it. “Private schools located in older buildings can pose a serious risk to the life-safety of their students,” the commission said. State officials have no idea of the scope of the problem because no one has regulated earthquake safety rules on private schools, the panel said. San Francisco’s political leaders now say they can’t afford to ignore the issue. “We certainly want our private schools to be safe,” said San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim. Keeping private schools operational is also important to getting San Francisco functioning after an earthquake.


Madison School District report: Focus on building additions and renovations, not boundary changes
-- ABIGAIL BECKER, Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin: September 16, 2014 -- The Madison School District should proceed with building additions and renovations, not boundary changes, to alleviate crowding in schools, according to a district report. While several schools are operating at or above 100 percent of their capacity, researchers say changing school boundaries isn’t the answer to capacity concerns. The Research & Program Evaluation Office studied the hypothetical possibility of moving students from crowded schools to others in the district and took into account six considerations the School Board adopted in 2007 when evaluating boundary changes. These considerations include reasonable bus routes, a rule to keep students from moving schools more than once in five years, grandfathering fourth and fifth grades, desirable school size, avoiding low-income concentrations and keeping neighborhoods intact. The report studied the possibility of moving some students between schools: Sandburg to Mendota; Midvale and Van Hise to Thoreau; Hamilton to Cherokee; Hawthorne to Lowell; and Kennedy to Allis. Each proposed boundary change except one, Hamilton to Cherokee, failed to live up to the six-consideration framework, leading researchers to conclude that future long-term facilities solutions will be “more comprehensive, less politically controversial and less challenging for MMSD students and families than changing school attendance boundaries,” according to the report. The district is proposing $27 million in additions and renovations at several schools to address crowding and other issues. Over the next several weeks it plans to seek feedback from the public. At its Monday meeting, the School Board briefly debated the merits of using boundary changes instead of renovations.


Nearly 70 city charter schools covered by suit seeking facility funds
-- Geoff Decker , NY Chalkbeat

New York: September 16, 2014 -- A new school funding lawsuit filed upstate could be a boon for nearly 70 charter schools in the five boroughs. The lawsuit, filed Monday by four families from Buffalo and one family from Rochester, claims that the state shortchanges students in charter schools by not providing money for space. And while the complaint focuses on funding disparities in upstate cities, their claims would also apply to dozens of New York City charter schools that still aren’t guaranteed facilities funding. The legal attack represents the latest front in a lengthy battle over charter school facilities funding, which has its roots in the 1998 law that first allowed charter schools to open in New York. Charter schools do receive some state funding, but they weren’t given access to the state’s building aid program, which subsidizes district school construction projects. When schools opened in private facilities, they had to set aside a chunk of their operating budget—meant for teachers and school supplies—toward expenses like rent, security, maintenance, and renovations. In New York City, those costs can add up. Brooklyn Prospect Charter School Executive Director Daniel Rubenstein told Chalkbeat earlier this year that he had to set aside a little less than 20 percent of his $13 million budget to replace fire alarms, upgrade bathrooms and install a new science lab in addition to paying rent and other facilities expenses. Most of the nearly 200 charter schools that opened under Mayor Michael Bloomberg received free space in city-owned buildings. But 68 charter schools, serving 25,000 students, operate in private buildings and spend, according to one tally, an extra $2,300 for every student on facilities.


Chesterfield to use school renovations as springboard to revitalization
-- JOHN RAMSEY, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia: September 16, 2014 -- Chesterfield County will focus on improving neighborhoods around the schools where voter-approved renovations will take place during the next nine years. The county school system is renovating 10 schools and building a new one thanks to voters approving a $304 million bond in November . As those projects begin, several county departments will focus on areas within a roughly 1-mile radius of the school in an effort to revitalize the communities. Within that radius, the county will publicize its tax grants for home improvements, apply for federal block grants and send code inspectors to comb neighborhoods for common violations. The first schools on the list for renovations are Providence Middle and Manchester Middle. A new Beulah Elementary also will be built. The idea is that county investment, such as new sidewalks or street lights, along with the nicer schools would encourage homeowners to improve their property and could attract business investment to the community. “We thought the smartest way to do this and bring noticeable impact is to focus around the schools to be renovated,” deputy county administrator Bill Dupler said Tuesday during a county School Board and Board of Supervisors Liaison Committee meeting. “We know this is more of a journey down a long, winding patch. This stuff didn’t get like this overnight, and it’s not going to be corrected in the next budget cycle.”

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