Officials push for bill that would create ventilation standards in schools

Critics demanded tough, new air quality standards for Connecticut classrooms at a hearing Monday.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2021, 11:19 PM

Updated 1,220 days ago

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Critics demanded tough, new air quality standards for Connecticut classrooms at a hearing Monday.
"It's not just COVID. This has been a long time with mold and air issues," says Jennifer Jacobson, of the Fairfield Board of Education.
Educators told lawmakers during the hearing that Connecticut schools have serious ventilation problems.
"We've seen a drastic spike in the number of cases involving exposure to mold," says Melanie Kolek, with the Connecticut Education Association.
A new bill would set strict air quality standards and force school districts to routinely monitor the air. If a building doesn't make the grade, it would have to close for the entire day.
Some experts say these rules won't work. In fact, they could even make the problem even worse.
A Woodbridge Board of Education member, who's also an engineer, called it "overreaching (and) unrealistic... while not addressing the root cause of these issues."
The state Department of Health says current law already addresses the problems.
Then there is the cost - a Fairfield board member says it could be close to $2 million per school.
"You're going to have to get somebody to come out and go to every single building and tell you what you need to get up to the standard. And then you go through the process of actually doing the work," says Jacobson.
The legislation would also require school gyms to be between 65 and 85 degrees. Teachers also want that expanded to classrooms.


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