Portable Classrooms & Public Schools

According to a survey of Public School Principals conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics and published in 2007, 37% of all public schools use portable buildings, also known as modular classrooms, relocatables and trailers, to handle overenrollment and other space requirements.

The schools with the greatest use of portable buildings were as follows:

  • Large schools (52 percent had portables, compared with 27 and 36 percent of other schools);
  • City schools (49 percent versus 28 and 39 percent in the other two locales);
  • Schools in the West or Southeast (62 percent and 41 percent, respectively, compared with 17 and 20 percent in the other two regions); and
  • Schools with high minority enrollment (53 percent among schools where 50 percent or more were minorities, compared with 19 to 42 percent in other schools) (table 3).

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