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A new law will mandate minimum and maximum temperatures in educational facilities



Rochester, New York – The biggest teachers’ union in the state applauded the passing of a bill that will set a maximum temperature limit for school facilities.

For decades, there has been a ceiling on how chilly a classroom may get. A new law that was approved by the Senate over the weekend establishes a maximum temperature for indoor spaces, including schools.

A standard for measuring room temperature is also defined, and the term “extreme heat condition days” is defined.

According to Sutherland High School teacher and president of the Monroe County Federation of Teachers Dwayne Cerbone, one difficulty in dealing with the problem of excessive heat in classrooms is that such temperatures occur at the start and finish of the school year.

Although they are brief, the first and last weeks of the school year are vital for learning, whether it’s acclimating pupils to the new year or reviewing material for upcoming tests.

“The issue really comes down to how do we find a way to make it so that students are not in that temperature,” he said. “The easy answer is air conditioning. Our district would be looking at $180 million at least in order to retrofit our nine buildings with some type of air conditioning units. That’s not feasible with the given financial crisis that we’re already experiencing and then you look at the operational costs on top of that.”

Prior to its implementation, the bill must be signed into law by the governor.