Billions needed to update our public schools - WNCT

Billions needed to update our public schools

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

America's schools are in such disrepair that it would cost $271 billion just to get elementary and secondary buildings back to their original conditions.

In a report released Tuesday, the Center for Green Schools estimated it would cost twice that, or $542 billion over the next decade to get them up to date. In a foreword to the report, former President Bill Clinton says, quote, "We are still struggling to provide equal opportunity to children," and urged the first federal study of schools' buildings in almost two decades.  

Clinton and the Green Schools group urged a Government Accountability Office assessment on what it would take to get school buildings up to par.

We visited two schools in Pitt County that were both built before 1940. The school buildings are safe, but they had a lot of needs. The school system has a plan in place to fix the two buildings up, at a cost of about 30 million dollars. The problem is the money just isn't there. It's the same problem that is being seen all over the country.

The report pointed out it's not the schools' fault, the money has to come from the state. It says it's time to take a closer look at priorities before some of our buildings slip too far.

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