Nation underfunds schools, but Georgia is alright, groups say

Arguing that the quality of buildings affects the health and performance of students, a team of advocacy groups says the United States should be spending $46 billion a year more than it currently does to build, maintain and operate schools.

A report by the U.S. Green Building Council, the National Council on School Facilities and the 21st Century School Fund says spending for maintenance and operation falls $8 billion short of annual need while spending on capital construction is underfunded by $38 billion a year.

Georgia compares relatively well, spending 103 percent of what the group estimates was required on new construction and 99 percent of the need to maintain and run those school buildings.

But with enrollment in Georgia projected to grow 9.1 percent between 2012 and 2024, the state should plan to spend nearly $300 million more a year, the group says.