“Aside from providing a huge health benefit to students and staff, constructing, renovating and maintaining sustainable school buildings are key components to an overall plan to create “green collar” jobs that will put Americans to work and give our economy a sorely needed boost.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.5 million members in more than 3,300 local affiliates nationwide.
Five divisions within the union represent the broad spectrum of the AFT’s membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retired members.
Today’s students will inherit the awesome task of competing in a global economy while dealing with resource and energy shortages and creating solutions for climate change.
It is the responsibility of the nation’s public schools to prepare our children well and give them the strong civic and academic foundation as well as the occupational skills and environmental literacy they will need. To succeed despite the current budgetary woes, we must invest, not disinvest, in a well-rounded, well-supported education and in school buildings that are healthy, high-performing, sustainable, well-lit, well-ventilated and safe.
The AFT and the BlueGreen Alliance are working hard to promote building modernization, high academic performance, and student engagement with the natural world.
America has great students, teachers and staff at all levels of education; they deserve schools and colleges that are modern and safe from environmental and toxic hazards.
Read more about the BlueGreen Alliance’s efforts to create Green Schools.