In a foreword to the report, former President Clinton said, "We are still struggling to provide equal opportunity" to children, and urged the first federal study of school buildings in almost two decades.
Mr. Clinton and the Center for Green Schools urged a Government Accountability Office assessment on what it would take to get school buildings up-to-date to help students learn, keep teachers healthy and put workers back on the jobs. The last such report, issued in 1995 during the Clinton administration, estimated it would take $112 billion to bring the schools into good repair and did not include the need for new buildings to accommodate the growing number of students.
The Center for Green Schools' researchers reviewed spending and estimates schools spent $211 billion on upkeep between 1995 and 2008. During that same time, schools should have spent some $482 billion, the group calculated based on a formula included in the most recent GAO study.