We ask our schools to do a lot on a tight budget: Invest in new technology, adapt to national standards, keep teachers and staff happy, maintain discipline, collaborate with other schools, mentor teachers—the list goes on. Little wonder, then, that maintaining the school building itself falls near the bottom of the priority list.
However, the learning environment is fundamentally important to student success. When it underperforms, so do our students. What’s more, overspending on a poorly ventilated and/or uncomfortable learning environment is the worst of both worlds.
If better buildings make for better students, how should cash-strapped schools prioritize and actualize more energy-efficient school facilities?