Mayoral Candidate Sisitsky Wants To Fund Air-Conditioning For Framingham Schools

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FRAMINGHAM – It was 95 degrees today by noon, and inside some of the Framingham Public Schools it was even hotter, as not every school has air conditioning.

Framingham Public School district and the 9-member elected School Committee requested funds to install air conditioning at McCarthy Elementary School in both their 2019 and 2020 capital plans with the goal of adding air conditioning to one school a year.

“Unfortunately, the request was denied both years by the current Mayor and all school AC projects continue to be delayed,” said mayoral candidate Charlie Sisitsky.

“In order to make sure students are getting the most out of their education, all of our schools need to have air conditioning in every classroom to optimize learning,” said Sisitsky.

SOURCE reached out to Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s campaign for comment but has not heard back as of the positing of this report.

“Considering the temperature spikes we’ve had over the last few days alone; air conditioning can no longer be considered a luxury in Framingham Public Schools,” said Sisitsky. “One path to aid in safely reopening schools in our City is to rightly and appropriately invest in infrastructure such as air filtration, ventilation, air purification, and air conditioning technologies. The cost to upgrade old buildings with these technologies has the potential to be expensive, yet it is possible.”

In 2018, as a City Councilor Sisitsky voted with the elected City Council to install air conditioning at Framingham High.

“The School Committee proactively planned to add air conditioning to the remaining school buildings without it. It is a health issue for students and educators. It is an equity issue as some buildings have AC and some do not. And yes it is a funding issue,”: said School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg.

A study of 4.5 million New York City high school exit exams illustrates that higher classroom temperatures create a 12.3% higher likelihood of failing a subject exam and a 2.5% lower likelihood of graduating on-time. One reason why is because mistakes increase exponentially in an overheated environment. In a hot classroom, problem-solving skills are performed carelessly. According to a study, when a classroom is too warm or cold, the brain doesn’t focus on learning. Instead, it is trying to solve how to get the body to cool down or warm-up. How can students learn when their mind is focusing on something else?

A hot environment has been shown to impact the brain, with uncomfortable heat diminishing cognitive abilities.

“By spacing out one project per year, we proposed a way to help make it affordable throughout multiple budget cycles. Unfortunately that plan was cut by Mayor Spicer first in 2019, and again in 2020. It pains me to say that McCarthy Elementary School would have had air conditioning today during the heat wave if the School Committee and school district’s plan was originally accepted by the Mayor,” said Freudberg to SOURCE.

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