History of the National Council on School Facilities (NCSF)
In 2006 a small group of state K–12 facilities officials began meeting at the annual conferences of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (now A4LE) to share information and learn about the issues and opportunities facing other states around K–12 school facilities.
Finally in the fall of 2011, this visionary group of state facilities directors decided to engage the 21st Century School Fund (21CSF) to do a feasibility study on creating a national nonprofit organization to support state agency officials responsible for K–12 public school facilities. The Advancement Project funded this feasibility study. The following are the key findings from the background research and interaction with state facilities officials during the feasibility stage:
States’ roles and responsibilities for public school facilities are complex and increasing, but there is tremendous variability across states with regard to how they engage with local school districts around facilities;
The fiscal environment for capital investment has remained relatively strong, but the operating environment for public school facilities is weaker than it has been in a generation; and
There is no governmental, nonprofit, or for-profit organization established to specifically meet the range of unique needs of state agencies or officials responsible for K–12 facilities.
In December 2012, the leaders of the K–12 school-facilities agencies of ten states formed the National Council on School Facilities. In 2014, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service granted 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to the National Council. The Council engaged the 21st Century School Fund for strategic and staff support to form the NCSF and continues to work with them.