The $50 million that is available to address air pollution in schools can play a vital role for public schools in disadvantaged communities to address health and safety concerns while simultaneously improving energy efficiency. In the United States, 1 in 6 people in the United States—including K-12 students, faculty and staff—occupy 100,000 public schools. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 Report Card gives U.S. schools a “D+” grade, unchanged from the last report card six years ago. These school buildings are estimated to have an annual spending gap of $85 billion in deferred maintenance costs. The condition of inadequate school facilities can result in exposure to mold and legacy toxics such as lead, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); poor air quality and temperature control; inadequate lighting; and excessive noise. 2
Modernizing school facilities also provides opportunities to significantly reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the quality of indoor learning environments.
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