Source: Hechinger Report

The nation’s school districts spend about $46 billion less per year on facility upkeep than is needed to maintain “healthy and safe” learning environments, according to a 2016 report from the 21st Century School Fund. Although most states help pay for some construction costs, almost half pay less than 10 percent. That means that, for the most part, districts in those states are at the mercy of voters to finance capital projects, such as building new schools and making major renovations to existing ones. Affluent communities with a strong tax base are able to borrow money and pass bond measures, while low-wealth districts — particularly in rural areas — struggle to do so.