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Answer Whether State Should Pay For Air-Conditioning In K-12 Schools Depends On Who's Asked

Karen Kasler
Moler Elementary, one of several Columbus City Schools buildings that isn't air conditioned. The district is renovating some buildings through a levy approved in 2016.

Some schools throughout the state that don’t have air conditioning have been closed or are releasing students early because of heat. At least one state representative says all K-12 schools should be air conditioned and is calling on education leaders to provide inventory of buildings that lack it. 

Republican House Education Committee chair Andy Brenner says he’s not sure the state actually has information about how many school buildings in the state are air conditioned. And even if it did, he doesn’t think it’s the state’s obligation to make sure they are.

“I’m not sure what the cost would be to retrofit buildings because you would have to deal with a lot of buildings that may be 100 years old and it may not be possible to retrofit them.”

Brenner says local districts should be the ones to decide whether they want to add air conditioning. He says schools have the option of taking calamity days, with lost time made up before school ends for the summer.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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