NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

SPENDING YOUR GREEN TO MAKE GREEN SCHOOLS

May 21, 2009

Green pork could be coming to South Dakota as the state's House recently passed the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act which intends to spend $6.4 billion of taxpayer money to bring the education establishment into greater conformity with environmentalists, says the Dakota Voice.

According the legislation:

  • The bill would provide states with money to make grants and low-interest loans so school districts could build, modernize and repair facilities to make them healthier, safer and more energy efficient.
  • The money would be delivered according to poverty levels in each school district.
  • Research shows that infusions of money for capital projects can bridge the achievement gap between rich and poor schools.

However, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment at the Washington Policy Center, "green schools" don't live up to the hype:

  • Of several green schools in Washington state which were examined last year, not a single one was the most energy efficient in its school district, even after proponents alleged energy savings of 30-50 percent a year.
  • Green school supporters also claimed absenteeism would be reduced, but no dice here, either; absenteeism rates were the same or slightly higher than non-green schools.
  • The touted better test scores also failed to materialize.
  • Construction costs, however, were higher than normal schools.

Source: Bob Ellis, "Spending Your Green to Make Green Schools," Dakota Voice, May 18, 2009.

 

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