Fix Our Schools is pleased that the Ontario Government has acknowledged that schools are an essential part of our province’s infrastructure. Our Minister of Education, Mitzie Hunter explains that when her department does fund school repairs, they are making an “infrastructure investment” that will help drive an “innovative, high growth” economy.1
We know that school conditions matter. Our children’s educations are being seriously affected by the age and condition of the buildings in which they spend their days. There are many factors:
- Poor air quality creates “sick building syndrome” and greatly affects the quality of a student’s learning as well as their health and the # of schools days they miss. The American Lung Association (ALA) found that American children miss more than ten million school days each year because of asthma exacerbated by poor air quality.2 Asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism in the U.S.
- Poor temperature control seriously affects learning. Studies done in the 80’s show that temperatures must be between 20°C and 23.3°C in order for students to concentrate and perform well on reading and math.3 Having to work in freezing cold or boiling hot temperatures also affect teacher morale.
- Lack of windows and daylight created from poorly designed schools also affects student achievement. There is a consensus that natural light creates the optimum environment.