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Nearly One-Third of Public Schools Have One or More Portable Buildings in Use

NCES data also cover school renovation and repair, teacher planning time, and parent engagement

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly one-third of public schools (31 percent) have one or more non-permanent (portable) buildings in use on campus, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Additionally, major repair, renovation, or modernization work was being performed in 21 percent of all public schools as of December of this academic year, when the survey was administered. The average age of the main instructional building among reporting U.S. public schools is 49 years, with 38 percent constructed before 1970.1

“The condition of our school facilities plays a critical role in the education of more than 49 million U.S public school students,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “School facilities provide a setting for learning and affect health and comfort of the school’s students and staff. As such, these data provide insight into the current condition of our schools as the nation continues down the road to learning recovery.”

The NCES data provide information on matters related to air quality inside and outside of public schools. Thirty-nine percent of schools have an Indoor Air Quality Coordinator on campus. This position is responsible for monitoring air quality conditions at the school and reporting air quality issues and complaints.

In addition, 60 percent of schools reported that they have designated vehicle loading and unloading areas at least 25 feet from all building air intakes, including doors and windows. Eighteen percent of schools have an anti-idling program in place, which includes signage and active monitoring during pick-up and drop-off times for students.

The latest data from the School Pulse Panel (SPP) also address learning recovery activities, including planning time for teachers, the use of instructional coaches, and parent engagement. On average, public schools provide 53 minutes of planning time for teachers each school day. Of schools with dedicated planning time, 28 percent reported that they have increased the amount of time teachers have for planning since 2019-20, the academic year when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Fifty-nine percent of public schools reported having one or more instructional coaches working at their school. Among these schools, 64 percent had literacy coaches, 44 percent had math coaches, and 48 percent reported having instructional coaches that worked in other subject areas beyond reading and math. Forty-two percent of public schools that had one or more instructional coaches working at their school reported that they have added instructional coach positions since the 2019-20 school year.

Almost all public schools reported that they have ways to inform parents about their children’s learning beyond report cards or summative assessments. This comes in the form of teacher communications to parents about areas in which their child is making progress or having difficulty (95 percent), parent-teacher conferences (95 percent), and online systems where parents can access their child’s grades on assignments, tests, etc. (87 percent). Forty-four percent of public schools have a parent/family engagement specialist or outreach worker at their school. Among all public schools, 17 percent reported adding this type of position since the 2019-20 school year.

The findings released today are part of an experimental data product from the School Pulse Panel, NCES’s innovative approach to delivering timely information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public K-12 schools in the U.S. The data, collected between December 7 and 21 of 2023, came from 1,625 participating public K-12 schools from every state and the District of Columbia.

Additional data collected from 100 public K-12 schools in the U.S. Outlying Areas – American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – are also available. Results from this collection include the finding that major repair, renovation, or modernization work was being performed in 33 percent of all Outlying Area public schools as of December of this academic year.

Experimental data products are innovative statistical tools created using new data sources or methodologies. Experimental data may not meet all of NCES’s quality standards but are of sufficient benefit to data users in the absence of other relevant products to justify release. NCES clearly identifies experimental data products upon their release.

All data released today can be found on the School Pulse Panel dashboard at https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/spp/results.asp.

The full press release is available https://nces.ed.gov/whatsnew/press_releases/2_15_2024.asp.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition and progress of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.

Follow NCES on X (formerly Twitter)FacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES Newsflash to receive email notifications when new data are released.

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.

1 These data were reported by 80 percent of public schools. Twenty percent of public schools reported that they did not know the year when their school’s main instructional building was constructed.

Josh De La Rosa, National Center for Education Statistics, [email protected]
Erik Robelen, Hager Sharp, [email protected]

SOURCE National Center for Education Statistics

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nearly-one-third-of-public-schools-have-one-or-more-portable-buildings-in-use-302063197.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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