Home > Government Affairs > Smart Growth > Schools


Schools ImageIn the next few years, America's school systems will have to grow at an unprecedented rate to meet a significant increase in school-age population. Enrollment from 2003 to 2006 was expected to increase by a half million students. To meet this tremendous enrollment growth, communities across the country will need to both build new schools and renovate or rebuild old, outdated facilities. School design also is undergoing a revolution. There is a new focus on designing schools that are energy efficient, have state-of-the-art technology, are more cost-effective to maintain, that provide more natural light and better indoor air quality, and are better places for students to learn and educators to teach. There also is a growing interest in returning to smaller neighborhood-based schools and having children walk to school.

Schools of the Future

The National Association of REALTORS is a sponsor of the School of the Future Design Competition, a highlight of School Building Week. Middle School students from around the country redesign their school spaces to enhance learning, save energy, preserve resources, and make connections to the surrounding community. Read more >

NAR Resources

Public Schools — A Toolkit for REALTORS® The Public Schools Toolkit, prepared under the direction of the National Association of REALTORS® Public Education Working Group, provides a set of tools to help REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations cross the bridge between awareness and concern to participation and action.

The National Association of REALTORS® Official Policy on Public Education

New Schools for Older Neighborhoods A National Association of REALTORS® report about the innovative approaches communities have taken to create good new schools in existing neighborhoods.

On Common Ground

Smart Growth for Better Schools (Winter 2005)

NAR Field Guides

Schools and the Homebuying Decision

Other Resources

Reconnecting Schools and Neighborhoods Provided through the Smart Growth Network, this paper from Enterprise Community Partners Inc. provides an introduction to school-centered community revitalization. Part 1 of the paper presents the case for integrating school improvement into community development, drawing on the academic research linking school and neighborhood quality as well as early results from school-centered community revitalization projects across the country. Part 2 presents the core components of school-centered community revitalization, including both school-based activities and neighborhood-based activities. The final part of the paper illustrates the diverse approaches currently being taken to improve schools and neighborhoods, drawing on the experiences of eight school-centered community revitalization initiatives in five cities.

Smart Schools, Smart Growth Initiative The Smart Schools, Smart Growth Initiative is a new, multi-partner national effort designed to bridge the movements for education equity and for smart growth. It aims to build healthier, more sustainable communities, especially for our most vulnerable children.

National Trust for Historical Preservation Information from the National Trust for Historical Preservation on issues and initiatives regarding the protection and redevelopment of historic schools.

Michigan Land Institute "Big City Schools, Big City Challenges" is an article produced by the Michigan Land Institute on plans to lure new families and more students to urban neighborhoods by improving schools.

Michigan Land Institute "Escanaba In Da Daylight" An article produced by the Michigan Land Institute as part of a special report on school location and its influence on development patterns.

21st Century School Fund

Coalition for Community Schools This organization works toward improving education and helping students learn while supporting and strengthening their families and communities.

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities Created by the U.S. Department of Education, this free service disseminates information about K-12 school planning, design, financing, construction, operations, and maintenance.

High Performance School Buildings This Web site describes how the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council has developed a high performance school buildings campaign to generate interest among school building owners and designers in building a new generation of high performance, sustainable school facilities.

Edge-ucation: What Compels Communities to Build Schools in the Middle of Nowhere? An article from Governing Magazine online concerning school siting decisions and their effect on sprawl.


Print Format