It all started as a well-intentioned temporary fix. Driven by an unprecedented student population boom between 1950 and 2000, school districts erected thousands of portable classrooms.

There are now more than 300,000 trailer-like portables in use at K-12 schools across the nation; and though intended as an interim solution, many have now been in place for 30 to 40 years. They are not only well beyond their expected lifespan; as a result of mold, poor ventilation, and other hazards, they are unsafe, and hinder students' ability to learn.

Each year, American children miss more than 10 million school days due to asthma and other respiratory ailments related to poor indoor air quality. According to the National Education Association, an alarming 25 percent of temporary classrooms are substandard or dangerous and low-income children suffer disproportionately.

Portable Interior in Phoenix, Arizona
American children miss more than 10 million school days each year due to asthma and other respiratory ailments.

“Condition of Education,” NCES,
U.S. Department of Education 2001
The Problem
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