Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Green is the New Black but May Push School Systems Into the Red

An AP story about greening schools--Schools going green to save on electric bills, teach studentsmarks continued interest in sustainable development. Green, the new black, is apparently spreading to school buildings as 300 schools wait to get certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's school certification program. The AP story cites a study by school officials in Washington State who found green schools have better student performance and fewer absences. And while we might not need a scientific study to tell us that clean buildings with lots of natural light promote the greater good, it doesn’t take much digging to uncover the budgetary strife associated with just keeping some buildings from falling down, let alone construct a building with living roofs, ice-cooled air conditioning, and solar paneled exteriors.

I know. I know. We keep getting the quote that “greening” a building costs 2 percent more. But that could be the toughest 2 percent an urban superintendent ever fought for. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against green enhancements and architecture in schools or otherwise. Like many other halfway idealistic 20-somethings, I love the idea. I just haven’t seen anyone write up the angle that schools are expensive and green schools are even more expensive.

Also, I’m all for reintroducing native species when invasive species have choked out cleared areas due to construction, but the anecdote about teacher Rod Shroufe at Clackamas High School in Clackamas, Oregon who helped to eradicate an acre of blackberries (delicious blackberries) saddens the mud-stomping, stick-swinging, rock-skipping, sticky-fingered berry-eating inner child in me.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are obviously NOT from Oregon! Invasive blackberries in the state have drastically reduced biodiversity and have pushed out many native species of both plant and animal.

9:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page has been accessed at least several times since the counter was last reset, or at an average rate of at least several hits per day.