Report: Cities have hundreds of empty schools

Monday - 2/11/2013, 6:11pm EST

PHILIP ELLIOTT
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hundreds of schools in the nation's largest cities are sitting empty as education leaders struggle to sell these potentially valuable properties.

That's according to a study released Monday from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

In the dozen cities the organization reviewed, some 327 schools were sitting idle last year and for sale. That means those properties are costing districts that still have to keep them secure, insured and heated. Meanwhile, the financially strapped districts are not collecting taxes on some prime real estate to fund the schools that do survive.

Pew researchers anticipate the number of for-sale buildings will swell in coming years as school districts consolidate their facilities. The data also suggests public school officials may have to take on the added roles of real estate agent, auctioneer or landlord.


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