The thought in most cases is that a building does not teach a child. Great teachers can be very effective and reach many children without fancy technology or elaborate classrooms. However, nice and safe environments are an important part of a child’s education.
The president of the National Education Association recently sent out a memo to urge Americans to contact Congress about the needs of our schools. The needs referred to did not include things such as class size or highly qualified teachers. The needs involved were updated textbooks and technology, modern buildings, and cared for structures.
In his message, the president did not ask for huge screen projects in each classroom or a laptop for each student. He did not ask for sky lights in buildings or fancy designs on the walls. He simply asked that we teach our children in buildings without paint peeling from the walls. He asked that we have classrooms without leaking roofs and poor wiring. He asked that we have sufficient room to teach our students without having to make do with classrooms in closets and rooms with previous intentions and assignments.
Besides the safety and health risks involved in the situations listed above, children and teachers alike lose moral and excitement over learning when they are placed in such run down environments.
Upon reading his message, I could completely relate. I have seen many school buildings in the conditions which he described. I also see many schools making do with students in portable buildings along the school grounds.
Under a new bill, The America’s Better Classroom Act will allow schools to improve their structures. More than 2 million dollars in bonds will be issued for schools to update and fix their issues. The government will give tax credits to bond holders instead of making interest payments. Therefore, schools and districts would only be made to pay back the principal of their loans.