It should be no surprise that school buildings and land are the anchors of their communities.
A community’s children spend hours each day in classes, and then many of them spend hours more at band or sports practice, homework clubs, in-school child care, preparing for science fairs, or drama rehearsals. School yards are where many kids first learn to ride bikes, where they meet their friends for weekend games of tag, or four-square, or soccer. On weekends and evenings, baseball leagues hold their games on school playing fields, choirs practice in classrooms, and the gym is used for everything from square dancing to political town halls.
In most cities and towns, school boards are the largest land-holders, and often school properties are the most valuable publicly-held asset. The value of these assets tempt governments to sell the land in order to reduce the current tax burden. This is particularly in dense urban areas where there is considerable pressure from developers who find it difficult to assemble a site of any meaningful size.
In these cases, there is a constant conflict between selling school lands for immediate financial benefit and preserving irreplaceable property for long-term needs.
How school buildings and land are used, how they are built and maintained, and whether they are preserved or sold are central issues in the learning experience of children and the livability of communities.
This section continues to be under construction.
When this section is complete, it will deal with issues of:
School Repair & Maintenance
Community Use of Schools
New Schools & School Closures