Air conditioning in Massachusetts schools is a hot button topic

June 12, 2019 | CommonWealth Magazine

As warm temperatures arrive, school officials are reaching for the switch to turn on air conditioners. Fans may do the trick for a little while, but eventually, as studies show, the humidity and heat will begin to impact their productivity.

State Rep. Joan Meschino, a Hull Democrat, and Sen. Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, are cosponsoring legislation to create a commission to study minimum and maximum allowable air temperatures in public school classrooms and facilities. State regulations say that classroom temperatures must be between 68 and 80 degrees.

Their bill would also require the commission to assess the number of air conditioned public schools in the state (some classrooms have only fans), those facilities’ processes for installing air conditioning or heating upgrades, and indoor air quality.

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