If you have a child at a New York City public school, or if you work at one, you know this only too well – on too many days, too many rooms are simply #TooHotToLearn.
In the winter – it’s the heating: some rooms are freezing while others routinely reach close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, teachers and students say across the borough. In the summer – it’s the same story, except the culprit is air conditioning or lack thereof. Even in schools that do have air conditioning, it often does not work as expected, everyone agrees.
Almost 11,000 classrooms in over 1,178 schools across the city do not have air conditioners installed, according to Park Slope Council member Brad Lander, who’s been spearheading the effort to change that and helped produce the “Too Hot to Learn!” report. 3,478 of those classrooms are in Brooklyn:
When temperatures indoors reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the early summer and fall months, “In that heat, students experience headaches, dehydration, and are unable to focus. Students with asthma can’t even safely attend”, Lander says.
Many of you probably went to school in the 1970s and 1980s, without air conditioning. But take a look at the chart below, and you will see just how much hotter it has gotten over the years:
The problem seems to be that the wiring in many of the schools needs to be upgraded so that it can handle A/Cs. As of January, no projects were underway to upgrade the wiring or install A/Cs in these schools, per Council member Lander.
Lander and other council members are calling for Mayor de Blasio to include in his Spring budget:
A five-year plan to provide A/C is every classroom and public space.
Allocate $100 million in the School Construction Authority’s current Five-Year Capital Plan to get started on the electrical work needed to bring A/C to all schools.
Provide $5.5 million annually for five years to purchase A/C units.
Prioritize buildings that offer summer school, including District 75 schools for students with disabilities.
As of today, almost 1,000 signatures have been added to the petition. If you agree, you are urged to sign the petition by clicking the link below, and add your voice and support our children, educators, and school workers: