Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study On School Infrastructure Could Influence Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan

January 22, 2009
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
The American Federation of Teachers has forwarded a new national study on the need for school repairs, remodeling and rebuilding to President Barack Obama's transition-planning team. The study could influence the Obama team's economic stimulus plan.

A University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee faculty member is co-author of a recently released national study that could become a resource for President Barack Obama in considering improvements to school facilities.

Related Articles

Faith E. Crampton, associate professor in the UWM School of Education, wrote the report, "School Infrastructure Funding Need," for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The AFT released the report, along with another on "green" school buildings, in December and sent both to Obama's transition planning team. Part of the president's stimulus plan to jump-start the economy includes improvements to the physical and technological infrastructure of U.S. schools.

"It's pretty exciting stuff to have one's research gain the attention of national policymakers," says Crampton. "One of the reasons you do the research is the hope that it will have an impact."

The 82-page report, co-authored with David C. Thompson, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University, is an update of a 2001 state-by-state assessment the two researchers did on the need for school repairs, remodeling and rebuilding. That report also resulted in their 2003 book, "Saving America's School Infrastructure."

Crampton says she's "cautiously optimistic" that the Obama plan may provide vital aid to improve school facilities. She hopes that the study, which documents infrastructure funding needs in each of the 50 states, will be helpful in the planning process because it provides the numbers policymakers require. A number of prominent politicians, including Sen. Edward Kennedy, who wrote a foreword for her earlier book on school infrastructure, strongly support efforts to fund much-needed school repairs, remodeling and rebuilding.

Some economic researchers report that every dollar spent on such projects can generate almost another dollar in local spending.

"It could have a very positive effect on the economies of communities and even potentially help with property-tax burdens for school facilities."

The report to the AFT recommends that federal, state and local officials work in partnership to improve school facilities, and calls for immediate federal action through direct funding to address inadequacies and inequalities in school facilities attended by low-income children.

The greatest disparities, says Crampton, are between well-to-do suburban districts and low-income rural and urban districts. In urban districts, those affected by unequal school financing and crumbling buildings are likely to be predominately students of color. A number of studies have documented the link between the physical environment and academic achievement.

In some states and school districts, she says, substantial direct federal aid may be needed. In others, the federal role may be to provide matching dollars for state and local funding.

The report concludes that the need for improved school infrastructure is substantial, totaling $254.6 billion nationally, down only slightly (4.3 percent) from the funding needed seven years ago. That may be due, in part, to litigation that has forced additional state spending, according to Crampton. (In Wisconsin, the 2001 report showed $4.8 billion in unfunded infrastructure needs. The 2008 report puts the total at $4.4 billion).

The courts are forcing some states to address the issue of unequal school facilities, Crampton says. The recent report contains analyses of several major court cases. Courts in Arkansas and New York, for example, have ordered repairs and remodeling to equalize school facilities. While many states are hard-pressed to find money to repair or rebuild schools, they find the money when the courts force them to, she says.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. "New Study On School Infrastructure Could Influence Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122100834.htm>.
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. (2009, January 22). New Study On School Infrastructure Could Influence Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122100834.htm
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. "New Study On School Infrastructure Could Influence Obama's Economic Stimulus Plan." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090122100834.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins