An investigation into the seismic safety of California's public schools.
The California Report | Friday, Dec 09, 2011, 8:50 AM
California's state auditor has found that oversight of safety standards on school construction meant to improve seismic safety has been ineffective and incomplete. The findings mirror an investigation earlier this year by The California Report and California Watch.
The California Report | Thursday, Apr 28, 2011, 8:50 AM
State regulators say they'll make it easier for public schools to access seismic retrofit funds. The move will free up tens of millions of dollars to retrofit older schools across California that are considered especially vulnerable in a strong quake.
The California Report | Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011, 8:50 AM
Over the last few days, the California Report and California Watch have been sharing the results of their joint investigation on the safety of public schools in earthquake country. Among other things, "On Shaky Ground" reveals limited oversight of the inspectors key to enforcing seismic standards on school construction projects.
Forum | Monday, Apr 11, 2011, 9:30 AM
After more than 18 months of research, KQED News and California Watch have released a new investigative series: "On Shaky Ground." The series examines how the state has failed to enforce seismic safety laws in public schools. We talk with two reporters who worked on the project about their findings, and about the response the series is getting thus far.
The California Report | Monday, Apr 11, 2011, 8:50 AM
Five years ago, California voters set aside $199 million in bond money to shore-up seismically unsafe school buildings. But the state has made it virtually impossible for districts to access the funds, meaning few schools have been reviewed -- and even fewer have been fixed.[Our story was produced in collaboration with California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, and was reported with Corey Johnson, Krissy Clark and Erica Perez.]
KQED News | Friday, Apr 08, 2011, 5:30 PM
In the Bay Area alone, there are about 1,600 older buildings listed on a state inventory as potentially hazardous. But Piedmont Unified is one of the only districts in the state that has been able to access voter-approved funds for seismic retrofits. We talk with Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Michael Brady, who worked to secure $1 million in state matching funds for Piedmont High School.
The California Report | Friday, Apr 08, 2011, 8:50 AM
Watching a series of disasters bring Japan to its knees, it's hard to ignore the fact that we, too, live in earthquake country. The California Report teamed up with California Watch to investigate the way our state regulates seismic safety in public school construction. What we found are cracks in the system that raise troubling questions about the safety of thousands of students and teachers.
State regulators have routinely failed to enforce California's landmark earthquake safety law for public schools, allowing children and teachers to occupy buildings with structural flaws and potential safety hazards reported during construction.
Nearly 300 inspectors have been cited by the state for work-related deficiencies, overlooking unsafe wiring connections, unsecured anchor bolts, faulty framing, and flaws in steel frames that "could have resulted in extremely unsafe buildings."
Some California schools found itself in a fault hazard zone one day, and gone the next. This loosening of state standards appears to have come amid pressure from property owners, real estate agents and local government officials who feared property values would decline.