Wednesday, July 29, 2009

School Siting

Georgia Safe Routes to School State Network
From David Crites,

Executive Director (volunteer),
GEORGIA BIKES!,

Event Director,
Georgia Rides To The Capitol

State Network Organizer,
SRTS State Network Project

Since the mid-1970s, fewer and fewer children nationwide have walked to school. This shift has many contributing factors, including trends toward abandonment of historic neighborhood schools and constructing larger educational facilities sited along major roadways in remote locations.

The Local Boards of Education across Georgia own many millions of dollars in school property that is no longer used for K12 education. Many of these facilities, while small, are in neighborhoods and towns with many school age children. Georgia’s current facility policy does not facilitate the rehabilitation of these properties, but instead emphasizes new school construction. A policy shift to allow construction dollars to be spent on rehabilitating intown, small, or historic school buildings for use as elementary, middle, and high schools can provide opportunities for many more children to walk or ride bicycles to school on a regular basis.

Goal 1) Work with the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, and others to get reconsideration of policies on school siting, and minimum acreage requirements for new school facilities.

Goal 2) Develop a school siting specific network and public information materials. (Sam Moss staff should read page 8 - Deferred Maintenance: The #1 problem facing historic schools.)

Why Johnny Can’t Walk to School

Helping Johnny Walk to School Project

5 comments:

DUNWOODY MY KIDS MOM said...

O&T give me a break!!! Today's children don't have the time to WALK to school. With all the time they spend on the Wii and Xbox and Nintendo, there's barely enough time for us parents to shove a McBreakfast in them before aggressively racing them to school in our SUVs. Before you know it, it's time to agressively race them back home so they spend the rest of the day (and night) drinking gallons of coke and eating barrels of frito-lay products while surfing the internets! This isn't the School's fault. It's Obama's!

Dunwoody Mom said...

Hmmmmm, has "Scott" found this board?

Cerebration said...

"The Local Boards of Education across Georgia own many millions of dollars in school property that is no longer used for K12 education."

Boy oh boy - is this true in DeKalb!

Cerebration said...

BTW - Dunwoody My Kids Mom, my son and his neighbor-buddy rode their bikes to school all through ES - they thought they were so "cool" locking up their bikes in the bike racks and stashing their helmets in the corner of the classroom!

Renee Blanchard said...

Hi,

You make good points that unnecessary acreage policies that led to sprawl and long travel distances for those attending and working at local schools. Another point that I would like to raise is the lack of policies preventing the building and use of buildings as schools near or on top of sources of pollution. As cities and towns begin to reuse buildings as much needed schools we should be careful to make sure that these buildings are not surrounded by polluting facilities.

You can learn more about school siting and children's health at www.childproofing.org.

Thanks!
Renee Blanchard
Center for Health, Environment, & Justice