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21CSF Releases Reports on State & Federal Funding for PK-12 School Facilities

Below is an excerpt from the 21CSF newsletter Issue 57 November/December 2010.  To subscribe to their newsletter email:

The 21st Century School Fund examined each U.S. State’s capital outlay from 2005-2008 for elementary and secondary public education facility construction and modernization. 21CSF also surveyed and conducted telephone interviews with every U.S. State on the role that the state plays in school facility capital project planning and management. “It is clear from this study that only about half of all states have a partnership with local districts to share in the responsibility for providing adequate school facilities.”

In addition the 21st Century School Fund has sought to identify all of the federal programs that can be used for PK-12 school facilities modernization and construction. The report analyzes federal spending for PK-12 school facilities through dedicated and allowable federal grants and dedicated and allowable federal tax credits and loans. “For every one thousand dollars that states and local school districts spend on public school buildings improvements paid for through capital outlay, the federal government contributes about 86 cents.”

An enormous victory for children’s health in California: Court mandates schools shape up

The California Court of Appeal has ruled that public schools must provide physical education to comply with state law. The court ruling overturned the decision of the Sacramento trial court that ruled the law set goals but not legally enforceable requirements, and that private parties like parents do not have the right to enforce the law. In response to an organizing campaign by The City Project and its diverse allies including the Prevention Institute, the Los Angeles Unified School District has voluntarily adopted a similar resolution to help promote academic performance and youth development and reduce obesity and diabetes.

L.A. Unified Project Provides Space for Young Children to Play and Take Classes

Los Angeles Unified School District is working with Abode Communities of Los Angeles to build affordable housing units which will include a preschool building and a 10,000 square-foot “outdoor learning classroom.” The playground is expected to be open for apartment residents after school hours. This project is an example of how two different organizations can create safe places for children to play by combining projects and sharing otherwise prohibitive costs.

Knoxville Residents Come Together To Rebuild a Community Park

Community participation and a willingness to take action are interrelated in their impact on health and safety outcomes. In Knoxville, an article in the local newspaper about a playground fire inspired one community resident to engage community  members in the rebuilding of Lonsdale Park.  So Gheen, president of Realty Trust Group,  gathered together Realty Trust volunteers and community residents to buy supplies and repair the playground. The project has brought about a sea of change and led to other projects to utilize open space and promote physical activity.

In Kentucky Joint Use Keeps Children Physically Active After Hours

In a recent article in Courier Journal Susan G. Zepeda, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, describes how  Kentucky businesses and local government are finding innovative ways to “make the healthy choice the easy choice.” She details joint use, among other strategies,  as an effective way to create safe places for children to play and exercise.

Loma Linda Leaders Consider Joint Use Opportunities and Safety Concerns for New School Site

Loma Linda officials ask Redlands Unified School District representatives to take into consideration joint use opportunites and safety issues when deciding to re-open Mission Elementary School and offer ” 25 acres of City-owened land … for a future middle school and joint use park, supplying a strong foundation for the long-term vision of both RUSD and our community.”

New Report: Joint Use of Public Schools, A Framework for a New Social Contract

In this paper, the 21st Century School Fund and CC&S add to the growing conversation about and demand for joint use as a way to provide services to children and families in convenient locations, improve opportunities for physical activity by increasing use of school recreational and outdoor spaces, leverage capital investments, and more, we provide a conceptual frame for the joint use of PK-12 public schools. This paper establishes definitions for joint use and frames the basic challenges and opportunities for facilitating better conversations and planning for these type of collaborations.

New Report: Partnerships for Joint Use, Expanding the Use of Public School Infrastructure to Benefit Students and Communities

Funded by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, this study categorizes the types of joint use used by school districts in California. The report discerns the challenges and lessons in joint use partnerships and makes policy, procedural, and research recommendations to better support the joint use of public schools throughout the country.

San Diego Community Uses Parks to Address the Intersection of Violence, Nutrition and Physical Activity

This article highlights the work of the Chula Vista Community Collaborative, a group of neighbors and community organizations, who worked with the city and police department to make physical changes to a neighborhood park. The changes increased community use of the park and improved perceptions of safety. Joint use is another important strategy to support the health and safety features of a community. Increasing access to parks and open space invites participation, fosters a sense of community, and ultimately leads to a healthier, safer community.

Joint use highlighted as 1 of 4 initiatives cities can adopt to promote play

Darrell Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of KaBOOM!, discusses the impact cities can have on promoting active lifestyles, increasing outdoor play opportunities, and strengthening neighborhoods. Joint-use agreements are highlighted as one of four creative and cost-effective initiatives to promote play.

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