Several schools in our district are facing air conditioning issues. We apologize — please know that our management and maintenance staff are taking these issues very seriously and working hard to repair these systems as quickly as possible.
This page lays out how our district is responding to the problems in three key ways: ASSESS, ACT, and ADVOCATE.
1.) ASSESS — District maintenance responds immediately to repair issues, giving priority to those with the biggest impact on students.
2.) ACT — We aim to resolve every issue within 48 hours; if repairs will take longer, our staff can bring in rental cooling units or move students to cooler areas.
Our district is working on the issue and must spend millions in local tax dollars on air conditioning systems instead of on classroom technology.
3.) ADVOCATE – Air conditioning is challenging for our district. State funds have decreased and the Legislature has cut local control over tax revenue.
Our district and our families continue to press lawmakers to return these funds to repair our school buildings, which have an average age of more than 49 years.
State money, called “PECO” funds (Public Education Capital Outlay), has dropped dramatically. From 2002 to 2009 the school district received a combined total of $164 million, reduced to a combined total of $19 million from 2009 to 2016. This is a difference of $145 million.
To replace an entire air conditioning system for an elementary school costs around $3 million, a middle school costs around $5 million and a high school ranges from $7 to 12 million.
Despite funding challenges, air conditioning replacements continue across our district. Six systems are currently scheduled for a complete replacement.