Congratulations to all the California Public School Districts named in the top 100 by Niche.com! This rigorous methodology incorporated U.S. Department of Education data and student and parent reviews across the State so districts should be very excited to see the recognition of their priorities and mission – ensuring students have the education they need to thrive and succeed.
While strategic planning is important to all the factors in these rankings, three of the factors are especially key from our perspective – “Resources & Facilities Grade,” “Teachers Grade” and “Health & Safety Grade.” Having a safe and secure environment for students to learn in with access to teachers and resources is strongly linked to District facilities and property assets. These factors are especially important given that:
- More than 90 percent of schools report they need to make significant technological upgrades in the next three years.
- The State estimates districts may have to contribute double their current funding amounts to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System within six years.
- 83% of homes in most populous counties are not affordable on the average CA teacher salary.
In order to continue to provide top quality education, districts need to be creative in exploring how facilities and real estate assets can be repurposed to help secure revenue critical for education and key initiatives. We have a number of resources available online to help districts educate themselves on options and opportunities for these assets, including a new Solutions Paper on “The Workforce Housing Advantage.”
Congratulations again to each district on this achievement – what a wonderful recognition of California school district staff, teachers, students and community members’ hard work in providing high-quality education for our youth!