Letter to the House of Representatives on the National Healthy Schools Day Resolution (H. Res. 1056)
May 22, 2008
On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to add your name as a cosponsor to the National Healthy Schools Day Resolution (H. Res. 1056).
Every day, 53 million children in grades K-12 and the 6 million adults who serve them enter school buildings to teach, learn and work. And every day, half (57,500) of those very buildings have problems associated with poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ). According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 50 percent of America's public schools are in need of major repair or renovation. Schools are often sited next to industrial plants or on abandoned landfills. New schools are built beyond safe walking or biking distance for students. In a recent five-state survey, more than 1,100 public schools were built within a half-mile of a toxic waste site. Polluted indoor air, toxic chemical and pesticide use, growing molds, lead in paint and drinking water, and asbestos also impact the health of our nation's students and school staff.
Poor IEQ is linked to a wide range of illnesses including asthma, headaches, upper respiratory infections, and dizziness. In addition, studies show that poor IEQ reduces student and staff performance. In contrast, studies show that energy efficient facilities designed for air quality, good lighting and acoustics, and ease of maintenance are associated with attendance, academic performance, and productivity.
By calling attention to these serious issues, a National Healthy Schools Day will help promote the design and construction of healthy and green schools. To become a cosponsor or if you have any questions please contact Sarah Bittleman (6-8043) in Representative Hooley's office or Aaron Scherb (5-3011) in Representative Matheson's office.
Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations
Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy