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Letter to Senator Lautenberg expressing support for his substitute to the High Performance Green Buildings Act (S. 506)

June 05, 2007

Dear Senator Lautenberg:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to express our support for your substitute to the High Performance Green Buildings Act (S. 506).  Like the original bill, this substitute will help strengthen public education by creating safer, healthier teaching and learning environments. We support passage of this substitute and would oppose any weakening amendments offered at tomorrow's mark-up. 

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). 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 creating an office of High-Performance Green Buildings to coordinate research and development on ways for government buildings to become "green," sustainable and healthy, your substitute will ensure that school districts have the information and assistance they need to ensure every student the safest, healthiest learning environment. 

Again, we support passage of the substitute to S.506 and oppose any weakening amendments. We thank you for your leadership on this important issue and we look forward to continuing to work with you to fulfill every child's basic right to a great public school.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy