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Report: Unhealthy Conditions Common in Schools
Solving problems with mold, extreme temperatures, overcrowding, poor air quality, vermin infestation, and other deplorable conditions in public schools throughout the United States must be a top educational priority, according to a new report from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
The report, Building Minds, Minding Buildings-Turning Crumbling Schools into Environments for Learning, is based on survey responses from more than 1,000 school employees on the physical environment of schools. Many responses cited poor building conditions, from students who have to wear coats and gloves in class to rats and mice entering classrooms through windows and cracks in walls. The report features observations and quotes from teachers and school employees in urban areas, small towns and rural communities, and it includes photographs of school conditions submitted by AFT members.
According to the report, poor indoor air quality might trigger an increase in asthma cases, temperature extremes might affect student concentration, and student and staff absenteeism might be due to an unhealthy environment.
The AFT recommends federal, state and local actions to improve school building conditions. For more information on AFT's school buildings campaign, click here.