Good news for public school students. and their teachers. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city has decided to invest in air conditioning for every single classroom.
It's an issue NY1 ends up covering almost every year. A heat wave will hit and students say they're baking at their desks, especially in many of the older school buildings that don't have great ventilation.
Nearly 12,000 city classrooms don't have air conditioning, something parents, teachers and students often cite as a big problem. But city officials have always said there are more pressing priorities, with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña even reminding people that schools exisited long before air conditioning was invented.
But Tuesday afternoon, the mayor and chancellor announced the city will spend nearly $30 million to outfit all classrooms with air conditioners over the next five years.
NY1's Lindsey Christ went back and looked up some of our old stories to see what students have said about trying to learn without AC during particularly hot days. Here's what some students said a few years ago outside Bayside High School during the summer session, when they say classrooms reached 100 degrees.
"You actually can't concentrate that much because of the heat," said one
"It's horrible, it's just horrible. I'm all uncomfortable and I'm not focused," said another.
"Everyone was kind of like drowsy and they were sleeping, they didn't want to do work. So it was just like, everyone was kinda spaced out," said a third.
"It's horrible. It's very hot," said a fourth. "We have one fan, it's rusted and it just makes noise. It doesn't cool the room down anyway."
Like so many issues with education, there's an inequity angle to the air conditioning story. Many schools that serve wealthier families have been able to raise PTA money to put in air conditioners, while schools in low-income neighborhoods don't have those kind of resources.
All in all, about one-third of city classrooms need AC. This year, 2,000 classrooms are slated for the upgrade.