VICTORY! Mayor Announces Plan for Air Conditioning in ALL NYC Public School Classrooms.

VICTORY! Mayor Announces Plan for Air Conditioning in ALL NYC Public School Classrooms.

Last October (on an 80-degree day) we launched the #TooHotToLearn campaign, to call attention to the dire need for air-conditioning in our public schools. Students, parents, and educators in hundreds of school submitted responses to our survey, with stories of classrooms that exceeded 100*F, of the inability to concentrate, of students with ashthma or special needs unable to attend, even of kids fainting from the heat.  

In March, with new data that the Council obtained from the NYC Department of Education, we released our “Too Hot to Learn!” report (see below), which revealed approximately 11,000 classrooms -- more than 25% -- in need of A/C. Students from schools in all five boroughs spoke eloquently, as we called on Mayor de Blasio to adopt a 5-year plan to install A/C in every classroom. More than 1,200 people signed the #TooHotToLearn petition, which was delivered this week to City Hall by a great group of students.

Today, Mayor de Blasio answered the students' call! The Mayor announced a five-year plan to get A/C in every public school classroom. DOE will start with installations in 2,000 classrooms (in approximately 114 school buildings across the 5 boroughs) in this coming fiscal year, with an allocation of $5 million. For the following four years, DOE will proceed with at least 2,200 classrooms each year.  Where buildings need an electrical upgrade, it will be funded through the existing School Construction Authority capital plan. Big thanks to the Mayor and Chancellor for making this happen.

This is a great victory for our kids! I want to give a special shout-out to students from Middle School 51 and student body president Sam Levine, P.S. 32 and fifth grade student Melissa Lembrouk, the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies and senior Andrea Diaz, and the Brooklyn New School -- along with students from schools all across the city including Avi Maryles, a 9th grader at IS 72 -- for their leadership in making this happen. And to my colleagues, City Council Members Mark Treyger, Rafael Salamanca, and Barry Grodenchik for your partnership in this effort.

This is also a big win for "participatory budgeting" (aka PBNYC). We have funded A/C units in our public schools through PBNYC ... but the budget delegates came to realize that it was not fair or practical to solve this problem one school at a time. So we decided to work with schools around the city in a citywide campaign for a comprehensive solution. It really shows the power of PBNYC: when we get people involved, together, in making decisions about how we invest our resources, we can make great things happen.   

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2017 January_Semi Annual DOE Air Conditioning Report.xls578 KB
October 2016_Air Conditioning Report.xls386 KB

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