EdSource examines the challenges that an urban, low-wealth school district in California faces modernizing its schools. Fresno Unified, the state’s 4th largest district, is struggling to repair aging buildings while student and community needs for air-conditioned lunch rooms, health centers and gymnasiums go unfunded. Fresno Unified ‘s assessed value per student is about a fifth of the statewide average. That puts it at a disadvantage with wealthier districts in floating larger construction bonds that are eligible for matching state funding. Finance and research experts suggest ways to reform the system.
Video written and produced by John Fensterwald, EdSource. Filmed by Elie Khadra and Chris Schodt, edited by Chris Schodt.