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by Leo Castaneda | inewsource

Choosing whether to buy a portable classroom or build a permanent school building seems to be an uncomplicated decision, if you’re just considering time and money.

The bill for portables can be less than half the cost per square foot of a traditional brick-and-mortar building, and they can be up and running as much as a full year before a permanent one.

But the savings aren’t what they seem to be, said Dede Alpert, a former state lawmaker from Solana Beach who focused largely on education during her 14-year career in the Legislature.

As portables became more permanent, parents and school administrators started asking for nicer — and therefore more expensive — options.

“A lot of people began to say, ‘They’re not cheaper, they’re not portable and maybe it’s actually dangerous to the health of children if they have to be in these buildings all the time,’” she said.

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