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American Statesman, 5/1/17

Texas: Senate passes bill to help save charter schools money on construction

Senate Bill 1480, which would allocate an additional $3 billion of the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds, passed the Senate Monday, with four Republicans voting against the measure. The $30 billion Permanent School Fund, the largest education endowment in the country, guarantees bonds from traditional school districts and charter schools, allowing them to borrow money for construction at lower interest rates.

Education Next, 4/12/17

New blueprints for K–12 schools

Blended Learning uses school time in a unique way, combining online instruction with traditional methods and giving students more agency over how, when, and where they learn. That third variable, the “where,” calls for some serious rethinking of how school space is organized and deployed. In our architectural practice, we have found that design either supports or frustrates a school’s mission—it is never an “innocent bystander.”

CNBC, 3/9/17

America’s school facilities get a near-failing grade

Spending gaps per student, a key metric tracked in Heming and Filardo’s report, have been increasing in many states over the years. These gaps include costs associated with maintenance and operation, and capital construction, as they would be needed depending on the number of children in a school district.

Las Vegas Sun, 2/2/17

Study suggests changes to reduce school construction

Nevada – To avoid the cost of building new schools, districts should consider 12-month school years or double sessions, an efficiency study proposes…The commission recommends more authority and decision-making at the school level instead of the district central office. There should be a review at least every three years by districts to determine if programs are leading to increased student achievement, the commission said. And a fund should be established to help districts finance construction and maintenance of schools, the study recommended.

The Tennessean, 2/6/17

Tennessee charter school bill sets funds aside for facilities

The proposed legislation would require districts across the state adhere to national best practices in authorizing charter schools, said Elizabeth Fiveash, assistant commissioner of policy and legislative affairs. The bill would also allow districts to require a fee from charters based on how many charter schools operate within a district. School boards can levy a 1-3 percent fee of the annual per student state and local allocations depending on how many schools are within the district.