Philadelphia School’s Closing Door’s Early due to Heat

Philadelphia Schools Closing Doors Early due to Heat

Michael Lawless, staff writer

All across the US, hundreds of schools are letting student’s out early and closing due to the extreme heat wave that has been ravaging the country. This is most notable in Philadelphia where a vast majority of school’s either have outdated or no air conditioning at all and with temperatures reaching the high 80’s to 90’s degrees this has proven to be too much for both students and teachers alike.

On Tuesday and Wednesday several school districts had to close school early due to the overbearing heat and will continue through Friday causing an outcry amongst parents and students alike. This is mostly due to the districts lack of sufficient air conditioning with only roughly 25% of public schools in Philadelphia having air condition while over 100 schools in the area are lacking any sort of air condition even after having added 500 air conditioning units over the summer. Part of the blame lands on how old the buildings are with the average being around seventy-five years, leading to the buildings being a decrepit state with crumbling walls, mold and rodents plaguing them. Another key issue is the lack of funding and resources, in 2018 it was estimated that it would cost around 145 million dollars to install air conditioning in every classroom, but with an already tight budget and the economic restriction’s caused by the Covid-19 pandemic the city simply lacks the funding to do so at the moment.  And this isn’t restricted to just Philadelphia, according to the U.S Government Accountability Office in June of 2020 approximately 54% of U.S school districts need to update their infrastructure and around 36,000 school’s have outdated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.