September 16, 2009
Statement by Lorretta Johnson,
Executive Vice President, American Federation of Teachers,
on National Green Schools Campaign
The American Federation of Teachers is a member of the Coalition for Green Schools, an alliance of educational and environmental groups that is preparing to launch its third annual National Green Schools Campaign.
WASHINGTON—Healthy schools boost student attendance and achievement. Not only is there a direct link between the physical conditions in a school and student performance, but constructing green, sustainable buildings will save school districts millions of dollars in energy costs over the lifetime of the buildings.
The AFT has worked for years on improving schools’ indoor environment through our “Building Minds, Minding Buildings” campaign. Every child deserves the healthy learning environment of a green school. Students can’t learn and teachers and other school staff can’t do their jobs in buildings that have leaky roofs, rodent infestations, poor climate control, mold and mildew, and overflow classrooms in utility rooms.
We look forward to working with the U.S. Green Building Council and the other partners of the Coalition for Green Schools to ensure that all schools are energy-efficient, safe and healthy.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.