BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Features 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 23:54 GMT 00:54 UK
Private finance funds $80m state school
Keyboard
The school has a "technology core" for research
Private finance is being used for the first time to open a state secondary school in the United States.

In a ground-breaking arrangement, $80m has been provided by private investors to build and equip a school - and to provide each of its 2,400 pupils with their own laptop computer.

Niagara Falls High School in New York state will then operate under a "lease-back" arrangement, in which the school district repays the private backers around $4.8m annually for the next 30 years.

This is the latest development in the use of the private sector in state education - as authorities in the US and the United Kingdom examine ways of raising standards without over-stretching budgets.

The cash injection in Niagara Falls has funded facilities such as a theatre, indoor running track and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

It also means a lower initial cost to school district funds and does not increase local taxes.

Crumbling schools

The new school uses a lot of glass in its construction, which architects hoped would make the building feel "open" to its users. This includes a large "technology core" where pupils can use computers for research.

The scheme has been welcomed by the federal education department, which faces a massive backlog of school repairs and overcrowded classrooms, a problem made worse by an increase in school-age children.

According to the education department, there is a $127bn backlog of repairs needed in schools, which means 11 million pupils are studying in "inadequate" buildings.

"This building is the direct result of your collecting and harnessing the power of partnership. You have provided one model that other school districts may want to follow," said the Education Under-Secretary, Judith Winston.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Jan 00 | Education
Clinton to tackle crumbling schools
22 Aug 00 | Education
US bid to patch up crumbling schools
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories