“The health of students, teachers, and staff in our schools depends in large part on the quality of the air they breathe. In Connecticut, unfortunately, many students and adults are at risk and the concerns go far beyond the pandemic,” CEA Executive Director Donald Williams writes in an opinion piece published today in the Connecticut Post.
A recent poll of CEA members found that 97% said improved ventilation in schools is a top concern but only 27% said improvements have been made to their school’s ventilation system. Nearly half (47%) said their school’s ventilation system does not provide enough protection from COVID-19 for them to feel safe.
Mold and poor indoor air quality make students and teachers sick, and studies show that extreme heat in classrooms makes it difficult for students to learn.
Williams said that a lack of funding has been an excuse in the past, keeping schools from upgrading their ventilation systems and installing air conditioning. The influx of federal funds to Connecticut targeted at improvements to schools, however, means that our state now has the resources to make every school healthier and safer.
“There is a straightforward solution to protect the health of students and adults who spend hundreds of hours in our schools each year—fix the deficient air-handling systems that make our schools unhealthy,” writes Williams.