California Students Speak Out on School Conditions & Energy Efficiency
School buildings are important. In California, they are where over 6 million children and thousands of teachers and staff spend their days.
Over the last decade, local school districts and the state of California have invested nearly $118 billion in school buildings and facilities. The UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools estimates that we will need to match that investment with $117 billion more over the next decade. But rather than build new schools, they say, we need to improve the more than 10,000 schools already operating in our state.
How and in what schools we invest is a critical consideration. California’s schools vary widely in condition, but many need major repairs. Modernizing buildings to be more energy efficient can help schools save, not just on energy bills, but on asthma attacks. Repairs that improve indoor air quality and lighting help students concentrate, perform better in school, and miss fewer school days. Increasing ventilation in schools could also reduce school absences by 3.4 percent, which would increase school funding by $33 million at an added instructional cost of only $4 million.
At Next Generation, we partnered with the Alliance for Climate Education to connect with students about their school buildings. In this, the first video in a two part series, is what one student had to say.