Earthquakes are a fact of life in California, and many schools are near fault lines or other earthquake hazards. That doesn't mean they'll collapse in a quake, but many school construction projects have failed to follow basic safety standards. California Watch uncovered about 20,000 projects that lack Field Act certification. Another state report released in 2002 found 9,659 buildings at about 3,000 schools with potentially dangerous seismic hazards.

But the state's data is messy. Names are misspelled. Schools are located in the wrong district, or don't appear to exist at all. California Watch's investigation found about 1,400 "Letter 4" uncertified projects and about 4,500 AB 300 projects at public schools. But about 615 "Letter 4" uncertified projects and about 1,671 AB 300 projects could not be mapped and are not included. You can download more complete uncertified and AB 300 lists here.

To get started: To see all public schools within a county or city, choose a county or city from the lists below. Search for a specific school with the search box above the map.