ASCE Gives School Infrastructure Condition-“D”

RESTON, Va.-The American Society of Civil Engineers released a new report card on March 9, 2005, outlining the condition of the nation’s infrastructure needing the most repair. To determine the grades, ASCE evaluated existing data reports of the condition, performance, capacity and funding relative to actions by policy makers for each category. In 2001, ASCE gave the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D+ and maintained that the U.S. needed to invest $1.6 trillion over five years to improve the situation.

In this most recent report, school infrastructure received a “D,” up from a “D-” in the 2001 ASCE report card. It’s uncertain, the report said, whether schools can handle growing enrollment and smaller class sizes required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

There has been no authoritative assessment of the condition of America’s school facilities since 1999. In 1999, the US Department of Education stated that $127 billion was needed to bring the nation’s schools into overall good condition.

School construction, renovation and maintenance funding totaled $28.6 billion in 2003, up from $24.3 billion in 2002. Public school enrollment increased by 394,000 from school year 2002-03 to school year 2003-04 to a total of 48,174,924 students.