School districts in 50 U.S. cities reported construction, renovation, and deferred-maintenance needs totaling $76.5 billion, and districts would be ready to spend $12.5 billion on those projects in the first year if funds were available, according to a report by the Council of the Great City Schools.
The Washington-based group represents the nation’s largest urban school districts. Fifty of its 65 members responded to the survey. Based on the results, the organization projects that its 65 member districts need $100.5 billion in upgrades, maintenance, and construction in all—much of it due to an aging infrastructure.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used the report as a rationale for supporting President Barack Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act, which the administration says would bolster the sagging economy and improve public infrastructure around the country.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2011 edition of Education Week as Facilities Spending