“In a world of shrinking budgets and resources, energy-efficiency savings in utility costs could be used for desperately needed funding for additional teachers and school resources. Nowhere is this more important than in our nation’s poorest school districts, where the concept of a green, healthy school is rarely a priority.” – Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network
The mission of EDN’s Green Schools Campaign is to create a new generation of healthy, empowered, civically minded, inspired students; and to engage the greater school community to take on local, state, federal and global challenges. While our target is all schools, we are focused on diverse, low-income urban centers with the potential for large-scale student, teacher and community engagement.
In 2007, EDN and the William J. Clinton Foundation, along with the U.S. Green Building Council committed to greening all U.S. schools within a generation. Since then, we have worked successfully to improve federal, state, and local funding for a variety of green school laws and regulations -- from bond initiatives to soda tax issues to national support for school gardens.
A recent report by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Center for Green Schools reported that the nation needed to spend about $145 billion per year to maintain, operate, and renew facilities so they could provide healthy and safe learning environments. The USGBC report also said that K-12 facilities funding in the US is “inherently and persistently inequitable”. NPR recently reported on the status of school funding, giving Sumter, Alabama as an example. The junior high in Sumter has one working bathroom stall in the girls room and a classroom that can no longer be used because of water damage from rain. Earth Day Network believes that all students should have access to education in a facility that is safe and promotes student health and well-being.
The effects of these conditions extend far beyond student health, research shows that students in renovated and updated buildings do better on standardized tests, have a more positive outlook on their future, and in general, just feel like someone cares.
Earth Day Network cares. Help support our mission to green every school in the U.S.