We need to teach elected officials about school pollution.

Several badly designed teacher’s pay proposals now before the N.C. Legislature claim they will pay teachers more if they do their jobs well.
They will not.
The proposed new laws would have educators’ pay raised only if their student’s learning improves year-after-year on state-wide tests.
This is profoundly unfair to teachers in older school buildings.
Learning is impacted by many things besides the teachers, one of the most powerful of which is the quality of air the students breathe.  If the classroom air is not rich in oxygen and has high pollution, learning is reduced by one or two letter grades.
Teachers in older schools: say goodbye to your promised pay raise.

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What is poor air quality is doing to kids, teachers in NC’s oldest schools?

Students change classrooms at Mariam Boyd Elementary in Warrenton on Dec. 7, 2021. The school opened in 1957 and needs renovation. In 2019, the Warren County school board closed another elementary school due to concerns the aging heating system could fail.
The writer heads a nonprofit called the Pollution Detectives, which lends electronic equipment to students, parents and school staff to survey schools for issues with indoor air quality, lead in drinking water, radon gas and leaking HVAC systems.
Recent articles reminded me about an ongoing, unseen tragedy in our state. Thousands were evacuated after a fire broke out Jan. 31 at a Winston-Salem fertilizer plant. The plant contained 600 tons of explosive chemicals but had no sprinklers or fire alarms because the building where the chemicals were stored was built in 1939 and building code did not require them.

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Learn how to spend Covid Relief money to protect kids and improve their learning

In schools, poor indoor air quality increases error rates in mental activity. If you go to www.thepollutiondetectives.org, on the top bar you will see a link to six brief videos that will teach you astonishing facts about how half of all American schools have indoor air quality issues that lower student performance by 15-17%. Covid relief money can be used to fix this as well as protect the kids from the virus.

Look at this image that shows how airplane pilot error rates increase when they are in a plane with “poor air quality”.

This “poor air quality” used to test pilots’ mental acuity is much better the air quality of almost all classrooms.

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