Despite evidence that the quality of a school building affects student academic performance, most public schools in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia are in poor physical condition. This brief analyzes patterns of investment for public school construction in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area from 1995 to 2004. The greatest investment was for new school construction in the outlying suburbs. Spending increased over time throughout the region, led by large increases in renovation construction expenditures within the District of Columbia. Schools with high proportions of minority and low-income students received less investment on average.
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