A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HOT TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS... STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM... STAY OUT OF THE SUN... AND CHECK UP ON THE ELDERLY, RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. [emphasis mine]"Air-conditioned room," huh? I wonder how many schools throughout South Jersey have even one of those?
With many school districts in the area forced to extend their academic year thanks to a brutal winter, parents and administrators alike are keeping a close eye on how students handle the heat, especially in schools without air conditioning.
And although some schools will be in session right up until the end of the month, the general consensus seems simple: ride it out.
Not surprisingly, the topic is a source of frustration to many parents.
You know, Mom, that's a very good question. And if you click through and read the whole thing, you'll see it's actually a question that many superintendents around the state are asking:"Why do schools have warmth in the winter but not offer relief in the summer? To me it seems like a safety issue to be stuck in a crowded, overly hot and sticky building for almost seven hours a day," wrote a mother in Deptford. [emphasis mine]
All administrators acknowledged that the situation was far from ideal, however. Coleman said Woodstown will hold a bond referendum in November that includes upgrading facilities, especially air conditioning. Loudenslager also said Deptford would hold a similar referendum in the near future.
"It's something our students have coped with for a long time," Coleman said.
Deptford and Woodstown are working-class and middle-class towns: there's at least some chance that voters there will approve what's become a necessary expense, because these towns know there's no chance the state will help them out."One of the big things we're trying doing is to get air conditioning and bring the building up to modern standards."
It's also true that the state will leave Camden, and Trenton, and Paterson, and Newark, and the many other urban districts that educate large numbers of at-risk students hanging as well. And they don't have the tax bases to raise funds for capital improvements -- like air-conditioning.
But even as Chris Christie slashes and hacks away at state aid for school districts, he insists all of New Jersey's children should be trapped in these sweltering schools even longer:
When did Christie come up with this little scheme? Why, January, of course, when it was nice and cold and no one thought to press him much on how he was going to provide air-conditioning to every school in Jersey. Unless he wasn't planning on doing that all along...
As I said before, there's no evidence simply increasing the school year or the time of the school day will do anything to increase student achievement.
Well, the pace of Bridgegate coverage has slowed a bit, so it seems to me that now, in the heat of the late spring, we are at the perfect time to ask Chris Christie about his proposal once again:
Does Chris Christie still want kids to go to school in the brutal heat of July and August without air-conditioning? If he does, will he show solidarity with New Jersey's students and teachers by working in an office without air-conditioning?
I won't even ask if Christie has a plan to pay for air-conditioning: any money he could find would wind up in the pockets of corporations anyway.
Yeah, I keep my office as cold as a meat locker! What's it to you?