School Building Construction and Funding
Massachusetts School Building Authority
Chapter 208 of the Acts of 2004 established the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The authority is responsible for the Commonwealth's school building assistance (SBA) program. All requests and inquiries regarding building assistance should be directed to the MSBA.
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds Program
The Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) program, which a number of schools and districts have used to obtain low-cost capital financing for facility improvements, was eliminated by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. As a result, the Department will no longer accept applications for QZAB credits.
School Building Safety and Security
Safe Schools Checklists and Self-Assessments
- The US Department of Education's Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) provides a number of free resources, including an app (SiteAssess) that you can download to your mobile device and use as you assess the safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness of your school's buildings and grounds.
- The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities provides a number of free, comprehensive safe school facilities checklists to help you assess your school's surroundings, communications systems, building access, etc.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides a checklist for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, an approach that encourages strategic use of the environment, lighting, building design, and other factors to improve visibility and safety.
For more school safety and security information, including applicable laws, regulations, emergency planning, visit our Office of Student and Family Support.
Environmental Impact and Energy Programs
Green Ribbon Schools
Launched by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) in 2011, the Green Ribbon Schools recognition honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and delivering effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways.
Mass Energy Insight is a robust, easy-to-use, energy information tool developed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. It is available at no cost to municipalities and school districts. The tool sorts information from utility companies into a database that will benchmark the consumption of electricity, natural gas, and heating oil in public facilities revealing energy use, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) provides information on ensuring our students have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
Maintaining Healthy PreK-12 Schools
Healthy Schools Healthy Kids is a comprehensive schools website from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Healthy Schools Checklist
The Healthy Schools Council (HSC) was established in 2001, and was tasked with identifying a list of the most important issues for schools to address in terms of environmental health and safety. This document contains information and resources to assist Massachusetts' school systems in identifying and remedying indoor environment health and safety problems.
Facility Planning Guide
This Guide was prepared by members of the National Forum on Education Statistics to help school facilities managers plan for efficient and effective operations. The Planning Guide has been developed to help readers better understand why and how to develop, implement, and evaluate a facilities maintenance plan. It provides practical advice on a range of topics; including how to do facilities audits, building inventories and maintenance planning and how to manage staff and contractors and evaluate maintenance efforts.
Protecting Health and the Environment at K-12 Schools
Environmental Health & Safety in the Arts: A Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans
Hazardous Materials: Awareness and Mitigation
Chemical Management in Schools
An Act Relative to Mercury Management
Joint letter from Commissioner Driscoll and Acting DEP Commissioner O'Donnell
Department of Environmental Protection Mercury Management
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD)
Asbestos in Schools
School Building Property: Applicable Laws
Chapter 40, Section 3 - Town; power to hold, lease and convey property
With the approval of the school committee and the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, a city or town may rent or lease surplus space in a school building in actual use, provided that such joint occupancy does not interfere with educational programs being conducted in said building.
Chapter 71, Section 71 - Use of School Property
The school committee may conduct educational and recreational activities in or upon school property under its control or shall allow the use thereof by individuals and associations for such activities as it deems for the interest of the community.
Chapter 71, Section 71E - Separate account for leasing school property
In any city or town which accepts this section, all moneys received by the school committee in connection with the use of school property under section seventy-one, shall be deposited with the treasurer of the town or city and held as separate accounts. The receipts held in such a separate account may be expended by said school committee without further appropriation for expenses incurred in making school property available for such use, notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three of chapter forty-four of the General Laws.
Last Updated: May 4, 2018