OAKLAND—As the need for new school construction slows over the next decade, California should refocus on updating and replacing aging school buildings with schools designed to be more environmentally friendly and better suited to the needs of the next generation of students, according to a new University of California, Berkeley, report released today by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
The UC Berkeley Center for Cities & Schools prepared the report, titled “California’s K-12 Educational Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging the State’s Role for Quality School Facilities in Sustainable Communities.” The full report is available online at http://citiesandschools.berkeley.edu/reports/CCS2012CAK12facilities.pdf.
In the report, authors analyze California’s K-12 infrastructure policies, regulations, and funding patterns before providing recommendations that re-envision the state’s traditional construction role in K-12 infrastructure as one of modernizing facilities, supporting 21st century education, and contributing to more sustainable communities.
“California has a lot to learn about building the schools of the future—and the time to get started is now,” Torlakson said. “The way we build and maintain schools over the next generation will of course make a huge difference to our 6.3 million public school students and to the teachers and school employees who serve them. But our schools matter in other ways as well: as community centers and leaders in sustainability. That means that every dollar we invest in our school facilities is a dollar that can change the future of our state.”