No matter what the location—urban, suburban, or rural—schools can be sited in ways that create healthy places for children to learn and grow. While school and land use decisions are ultimately local decisions, many states are involved because residents' health, economic development, and environmental quality are affected by it. The state roles in school siting include:

  • facilitating communication between various state agencies that have a stake in school siting;
  • providing health, environmental, land use, and economic information to local leaders about various school siting decisions; and
  • when feasible, fostering the development/maintenance of schools that are integrated into their communities.


An Introduction to School Siting—The Health, Environmental, Land Use and Economic Impacts
This web conference was designed to introduce state policy advisors to the school siting issue and allow them to pose questions in an open forum. Presenters were Dr. David Salvesen, Director of the Program on Smart Growth and the New Economy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Tim Torma from the Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

State Strategies for School Siting—The State of Maine
This web conference focused on Maine's school siting policies and how they contribute to maintaining and enriching communities' visions for how they want to grow. In Maine, school siting has been elevated to an issue that involves several state agencies. State leaders discussed why and how this has been done. Presenters were Jim Rier, Policy Director of School Funding, Finance and Management Information at the Maine Department of Education, and John DelVecchio, Special Projects Coordinator for the Maine State Planning Office.

The Environmental Health Perspective
The goal of this web conference was to focus more explicitly on the children's environmental health impacts of school siting decisions.

  • Reid Ewing, Ph.D., associate professor of urban studies and planning, University of Maryland-College Park.
  • Melanie Marty, Ph.D., chief, Air Toxicology and Epidemiology Section, California Environmental Protection Agency.

School Siting Decision-making
This web conference provided participants with a chance to hear from the experts who deal with school siting every day:

  • Franklin Brown, planning director, Ohio School Facilities Commission.
  • David Peterson, director of operations, Mesa Public Schools, Arizona.

How States Implement School Siting Strategies
This web conference discussed various state school siting policies across the country.