Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner, which would establish temperature control standards for school district facilities, cleared the Senate Education Committee.
“We are seeing more and more hot, humid school days, making it more difficult for students to concentrate in classrooms that can commonly reach temperatures in the 90s,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “Many of our urban districts have school facilities that are not equipped with air-conditioning, so when the classroom reaches an uncomfortable temperature, our students have a difficult time staying focused. Our goal is to create a healthy and safe school environment where our children will learn best.”
The bill, S-2563, would require each board of education to adopt policy establishing temperature control guidelines for school district facilities. The policy established would be required to ensure, to the greatest extent feasible, that school buildings provide students with a temperature-controlled environment that is conducive to learning.
A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research compared student test scores with average temperatures and concluded that when classrooms get too hot it prevents students from learning as well as they would in more temperature-controlled environments. This bill would ensure that school district administrators proactively plan for extreme weather by requiring districts to set standards and protocols for temperature control.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 6-0.