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AC, the new ABC? Schools need to be upgraded as the country becomes hotter


This opinion piece on climate and design is produced by The Hechinger reportSign up for the newsletter to receive updates on education innovation and inequality. Subscribe to the Hechinger newsletter.

Tempers get short. Test scores are affected. On the worst days, schools close, and students lose days of learning while parents’ schedules are disrupted.

Yorkwood Elementary, in Baltimore, had to be closed by the school district any day that the temperature forecast was 90 degrees or higher by 10 am. The number of these days has increased over the years.

“I remember one year we literally had seven [closure] days before we were able to have a full week of school because of the heat,” said Tonya Redd, the principal.

July 2023 was the world’s hottest month on record. And America’s schools weren’t built for this. A 2021 report says that. Studying by the Center for Climate Integrity, more than 13,700 public schools that did not need cooling systems in 1970 have installed — or will need to install — HVAC systems by 2025, The number of hot days in the school year is increasing. Estimated total cost: more than $40 billion

There are many different design and…

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