Giving Compass' Take:

• School districts require innovative solutions to compensate for decades long of inadequate funding. The author makes a few recommendations on how community members and families associated with neglected schools can help.

• What is the role of donors in providing support for inadequately funded schools? 

• Read about what impactful education funding looks like. 


Many students in Virginia and other parts of the nation are attending school in substandard or even dangerous conditions because of a lack of funding for maintaining, updating, or building school facilities, the Washington Post reports.

A 2013 study found that it would require more than $18 billion to renovate schools more than 30 years old in Virginia alone, and a 2014 federal study indicated that 53% of the nation’s schools were in need of repairs and upgrades. Estimates for addressing these school facility needs range from $197 billion to $542 billion.

Some states and cities are increasing funding for school capital projects by raising local taxes or diverting more state funding to school construction.

Many schools are now seeing the impact of recession-level spending. Mold has become a major issue at some schools and is creating a health hazard for students and teachers alike. The school environment has an impact on students psychologically as well as physically. Run-down and neglected facilities can also affect a students' desire to attend school and their ability to focus when they're there.

School leaders can enlist the help of families, community members, and local business leaders in calling for the restoration of and increases in funding for school facilities. Many people are not aware of the conditions of their local schools, so taking photos, maintaining records and keeping this issue in front of local media and social media platforms may result in funding for specific projects.

Holding public meetings in schools that need attention may also raise awareness. Greater attention to the issue can pressure federal, state and local lawmakers to address the condition of buildings for today's and tomorrow's students.

Read the full article about years of inadequate school funding by Amelia Harper at Education Dive.