Produced by the Center for Green Schools, with technical support from ASHRAE, this report details how school districts have used air quality measures in their buildings to respond to the pandemic. The report puts additional data behind the case for school infrastructure investment. Schools relied on their HVAC systems to make buildings safer for students and teachers, but in many cases these systems were outdated and/or not designed to support the recommended strategies.
The report is the only known national view of air quality in schools during COVID: what school districts have prioritized, which actions they have taken, how they have made decisions, and what the consequences have been. The responses cover over 4,000 schools serving over 2.5 million students in 24 states.
USGBC and the Center for Green Schools advocate on the federal level on behalf of healthier, greener school facilities and high-quality sustainability education for all children. This brief explains the priorities for our legislative advocacy in 2021.
This resource outlines priority actions that state-level officials and elected leaders can take to support green schools in 2021 and beyond.
At the time of writing this paper, only 15 states and DC had legislation around testing school drinking water for lead. This report presents a summary of the 15 state laws, the research results concerning data and opinions on the effectiveness of the laws, and a detailed analysis of the similarities and differences of the laws. The report’s side-by-side comparison of the laws is a valuable way to start thinking about the properties of effective legislation around testing school drinking water. State legislators and advocates can use this paper as they consider new state laws to address lead contamination in school drinking water. At the end of the paper, recommendations based on the analysis of the report is given to the reader to advocate for prospective state legislation.
This report offers a side-by-side comparison of of each state’s legislation and program features, including dollars invested, type of allocation, purpose and intent of each, and percentage of schools impacted.
The Green Schools National Network brings us the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly (GSCQ), the only peer reviewed, high interest digital magazine that highlights evidence-based practices for replication in green, healthy, sustainable schools. GSCQ explores issues in-depth, including qualitative and quantitative research, and includes columns that report on and explore emergent issues.
An executive summary of the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report.
Building on the 2016 State of Our Schools report, the Planning for PK-12 Infrastructure Initiative (P4si Initiative) formulated a systems-based plan to address the structural problems of inequitable and inadequate school facilities.
Six national cross-sector working groups organized around basic elements of a well-managed facilities program: Data and Information, Educational Facilities Planning, Management, Funding, Governance and Decision Making, and Accountability, came together for this initiative and developed a menu of solutions to guide school funding and infrastructure at the federal, state and local levels. Published in March 2017, the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report presents the working groups’ recommended priority action items, which are intended to build and sustain high-performance public PK-12 facilities for all children.
Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform is a joint publication of the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities, The Center for Cities + Schools and the U.S. Green Building Council.
State policy places an integral role in determining both the mechanisms and funding levels for construction, renovation, and repair of school facilities. Through policy review and notes from a 2017 convening in Atlanta, this report discusses a unique schools funding mechanism in Georgia: the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST).
Download our info sheet to see how LEED certification makes school buildings healthier, more productive places for students and staff.
State legislators have powerful opportunities to promote healthy, high-performing schools through legislative activities and innovative community partnerships. This resources offers a menu of legislative options for green schools.
In the 2016 State of Our Schools report we compile and analyze the best available school district data about U.S. K–12 public school facilities funding. The report projects that going forward our nation will under-invest in school buildings by $46 billion annually.
In June 2013, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brought together stakeholders from academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors to envision a future where our schools support thriving, healthy, and regenerative communities. Participants agreed on a shared vision where all students graduate educated for a sustainable future through the integration of the environment, economy, and equity, with the ability to apply systems thinking to problem solving and decision making by 2040. Fifteen subject matter experts undertook the task of recommending key actions that, collectively, outline a pathway to achieve our ambitious goal. This National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability intends to propel efforts to affect policies and practices through collaboration, alignment, and large-scale implementation.
This paper presents a summary of the state laws, analysis of national survey data, the research results concerning data and opinions on the effectiveness of the laws, and detailed analysis of the similarities and differences of the laws.
Outlines a national action plan that mayors and local leaders can use as a framework to develop and implement green schools initiatives. The report also provides a comprehensive review of the benefits of green schools; a summary of local, state and federal policy solutions; leadership profiles of green school advocates; and case studies from both large cities and small communities. Together, these resources serve as a roadmap on the journey to green schools.
Jointly released with McGraw Hill Foundation, this paper is an accessible account of current research connecting school buildings with student health and performance. It also includes a summary of research needed and how individual groups (teachers and students, design professionals, government agencies, etc.) can help in the effort to draw connections between where students learn and their well being. Anyone who needs clear, defensible research to support the need for better, healthier classrooms will find the summary of research into how students breathe, see, hear, move and learn useful.
The first in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report was released with McGraw Hill Global Financial Institute and reaches well beyond the world of schools and colleges. The paper examines how the community of sustainability professionals can begin to make a stronger case for the profession and its impact on organizations across sectors.
The second in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report summarizes the role and expectations for sustainability directors in K-12 school districts. Drawing from extensive surveys and interviews with the Center for Green Schools’ network of sustainability professionals, the research concludes with important lessons for those managing and performing in this role.