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Regulatory Reform Issues

School districts across California face the unenviable task of building and modernizing thousands of public schools to relieve existing student overcrowding, and accommodate growth in student enrollment. Unfortunately, there are numerous obstacles to building new schools. Financial obstacles in which urban school districts have difficulty accessing state bond funds. Environmental concerns, where debates rages over the assessment and clean-up of contaminated sites necessary to build safe schools. Regulatory issues, such as the Field Act, which imposes onerous earthquake requirements on all school construction. Land scarcity issues, in which urban areas have very few parcels of available land to accommodate a school.

New Schools / Better Neighborhoods is finding new and practical ways to address these problems. This section provides analysis of the various regulatory issues, and provides recommendations for both short and long term policy changes to produce a more efficient school construction process.