Protecting Students and Staff, Improving Learning

Every school day in New Jersey, children, teachers and school staff face conditions that can cause illness or injury and that make it harder to teach and to learn. On average, New Jersey's 2,500 school buildings are 50 years old and are four times more densely populated than office buildings. Age, overcrowding, and deferred maintenance strain ventilation, heating, plumbing, electrical systems, and waste energy. Students and staff in many schools are exposed to mo =ld and other indoor air pollutants, triggering asthma attacks and absences due to illness. More than 20% of schools report conditions defined as "so potentially hazardous that they cause an imminent peril to the health and safety of students or staff."

Our Campaign Platform for Healthy Schools

  1. Safe and modernized school buildings. The N.J. Legislature made available almost $4 billion in bonding authority for school facilities projects. Governor Chris Christie stalled funding for construction and renovation projects. It is imperative we begin work without delay.

  2. Danger-free learning environments. As required by law, the N.J. Department of Education and Schools Development Authority must correct imminent dangers.

  3. Healthy air. All schools should comply with state indoor air quality standards that are too often ignored. The N.J. Health Department should ensure that everyone understands the law and that it is followed.

  4. Safe temperatures. The legislature should enact the Safe Temperatures Act (S-817/A2492), to require school districts to measure temperatures below 68 degrees or above 79 degrees, to relocate students within two hours of an extreme temperature determination, and to implement feasible temperature controls.

Outcomes Worth Fighting For

WEC Campaign Partners:

Join the Healthy Schools Now Campaign

For more information, contact Debra Coyle McFadden at dcoyle @ njwec.org (no spaces) or call (609) 695-7100 ext. 300.