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"180 public schools" Discussed on WDUN AM550
"With this edition of mornings on Main Street. We wanted to check in with the folks at the international well being Institute and we're checking in with CEO and president their racial Hodgins with us this morning and Rachel before we go any further. You gotta report we're going to get into But tell us what you do at the international Well Building Institute. At either the FBI. We advance people first places. Those are healthy, safe, efficient spaces that inspire our best work and our best living. We work in all sectors of the built environment from schools offices to home. And this time around. We're talking about the situation in schools. Now, you just put out the state of our schools 2021 report. And what are some of the findings that we need to be aware of this? Why did you come out with it? Maybe rose to the top and got your attention. Well, what roasts the topics that the state of our schools is pretty awful. Our school facility infrastructure was already facing a national emergency and then covid 19 to go long term bad situation with our school buildings and made it truly urgent. That report. 2021 State of our schools report shines the light on the fact that severe and chronic under investment to the tune of $85 billion a year. A year is eroding the country's ability to provide safe, healthy and efficient schools. And that is that 85% since the same report that we published in 2016 Where our kids learn matters and it's crucial in supporting their ability to get a quality education. Were there any areas that were more critical than others as far as that's concerned, and I'm talking about Perhaps within the structure, but also regionally. Yes, I mean, First of all, there's a short felt shortfall in every state across the nation. But let's talk about Georgia. Georgia has 180 public school districts, and they operate more than 2200 schools. That served nearly two million students and staff and across those school districts. There's a severe state of disrepair and poor conditions the state under invest by half a billion dollars in its public school facilities. Every year and at that level of underfunding districts in Georgia are just not able to meet stewardship standards for health or safety and for sustainability. And what's worse is that Georgia's high poverty districts received a shocking $3.4 million less than low poverty districts. That's just not fair. What are some of the, uh the what are some of the while I'm going to break into categories where some of the most critical issues in the state and where some areas where they may be doing better than the average Well, I think that the critical issue and pretty much every school district across America is around air. Um, especially in this moment. We know that Covid 19 is an airborne disease. And so schools that were unfit prior to the pandemic, And there were many of them, Uh, they're simply downright dangerous. In this moment, there are definitely you know, bright spots in Georgia. When Georgia rebuild their schools, they often rebuild excellent new schools often lead certified. I went to an amazing one in the cab county, Georgia, where teachers there told me that they no longer suffered from the 2 30 headache, which was a term that they had coins just how sick their previous school building made them. After a full day in school, so we do know that when we rebuild, oftentimes we're rebuilding in the best of ways. But because Georgia under invest significantly in ongoing operations and maintenance, even those new schools are falling quickly into disrepair. Rachel. How would um hmm. You know what's the average lifespan of a school building? Because, you know, we've built some new ones around here, and we have some that have been around for a good little while. What is there an average lifespan before they either get pushed over a rebuilt You know, it should be somewhere in the vicinity of 40 years, but I bet you if you're looking around Georgia, you're seeing a lot of schools that are a heck of a lot older than that. Those schools probably need major renovations or in some instances, they really can't be salvaged and they need to be rebuilt from the ground up. Across the country. Most of our schools are starting to approach or have already exceeded their natural lifespan. So we need an increased investment and what we also need is for the federal government to step up and do their part because the federal government only provides about 1%. Of funding for school infrastructure improvements. It's mathematically impossible for states and districts to pick up the rest of the tab and fun schools sufficiently The international Well Building Institute. And this is the state of schools report 2021 we're talking about. Is it available to the public? Can we see it online? Is there some way we can take a closer look to maybe look at some of the schools in our area. It sure is. You can go to state of our schools 2021 dot org, where you can download a free copy of the report and state specific profile on Georgia. Our guest this morning is the president. CEO of the International Well Building Institute. Rachel Hodgdon. Thank you for being with us this morning. Hope that you have a great rest of your Friday. Thanks, Bill. You too. Thanks for having me. Alright. It's 18 minutes after eight. We continue with North Georgia's.