State of Our Schools

America’s K-12 Facilities

School facilities have a direct impact on student learning, student and staff health, and school finances. But too many students attend school facilities that fall short of providing 21st century learning environments because essential maintenance and capital improvements are underfunded.

Visit the 2021 State of Our Schools report

2016 State of Our Schools Report

In 2016’s State of Our Schools report, we compiled and analyzed the best available school district data about U.S. K–12 public school facilities funding. The report projected that each year our nation will under-invest in school buildings by $46 billion annually. View our infographic to learn more.

2016 State of Our Schools: America's K–12 Facilities was a joint publication of the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Download the 2016 State of our Schools report

Solutions for Adequate & Equitable Schools
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 school facilities. Published in March 2017, the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report presented the working groups’ recommended priority action items. Download the report.


View your state's profile from the 2016 State of Our Schools Report:

2016 State of Our Schools: About the data

To complete the analysis contained in the report, the 21st Century School Fund (21CSF) used a data- and standards-based framework to analyze 20 years of publicly available national and state data on public facilities spending for fiscal years 1994 through 2013. 21CSF used the data reported by U.S. K-12 school districts on the U.S. Census of Governments Fiscal Surveys and published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as the primary data sources; the data includes local school district enrollments and annual revenues and expenditures, including those for capital outlay and for maintenance and operations of plant. To confirm the accuracy of the district-level data, 21CSF compared the data to capital outlay data reported by the states on the U.S. Census of Governments F-13 Fiscal Surveys of State and Local Governments. To further validate the accuracy of both of these data sets, 21CSF compared the school construction capital outlay on the F-33 to the total statewide construction contract start costs collected and reported by state and year by Dodge Data & Analytics.

The state-by-state analysis and profiles incorporate the unique history of facilities spending and investment in each state, as well as other factors that vary by state: enrollment projections, the cost of construction, and the amount of school district space in the state. The National Council on School Facilities (NCSF) surveyed states on building and site inventory sizes and the cost of new construction. State offices that oversee and/or report on school facilities in each state were given the opportunity to review the data and offer input and corrections through NCSF; many directors provided valuable insight to both the national picture and the state profiles. The data includes the following: Appendix A: State Data Tables—State Totals (Excel), Appendix B: K-12 Capital Outlay & Construction (Adjustments) (Excel), Appendix C: Adjustments to State Share of Funding for Capital Outlay (Excel), State Data: All States, All Years (1994-2013) (Excel). Please use this data to expand the research on our nation’s public education facilities. Download the data used in the report.