California Districts Cut Costs

PATRICIA HAWKE

The San Jose School District and many other California school districts and focusing on going green. Not only does going green help the environment but it helps to cut a lot of costs associated with energy. The Campbell Union School District is among the many schools that are known for being high tech and they are just fifteen minutes south of Apple’s Headquarters. A lot of technology goes into making the schools become “green.” Schools are beginning to realize that cutting costs on energy is going to be the biggest way for them to save money on budget cuts and become environmentally savvy. By going green San Jose schools can save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually and potentially can save teachers jobs by cutting energy costs instead of cutting teachers.

The San Jose schools discovered that one main cause of energy loss and cost was from thermostats. General thermostats could be changed at any time by teachers or students and they could be left on or forgotten about overnight or during lunchtime and could cost the schools a lot of money. By switching the San Jose schools and many other schools in California district’s to internet managed programmable thermostats, the district started seeing saving instantly. They were able to monitor the thermostats by the Internet and create timers on the thermostats to turn off and on automatically depending on the weather and time of day. At night and during lunch times the thermostats would automatically shut off at a certain time and depending on the weather, the thermostats adjusted accordingly. They were losing no energy to waste anymore and saving so much more by having them thermostats on automatic timers. The thermostats can be programmed up to 366 days at once with special programming depending on the season.

Going green sometimes has extreme costs associated with equipping schools with the right equipment to save them money. Solar panels, which save a ton of money of lighting costs and greatly help the environment, are really expensive to install. Because of the amount of savings you can expect by installing g solar panels, the cost of installing them is higher. It should be a requirement for schools to get free “green” technology to help them save money. The less the schools spend on wasted energy, the more money they have to keep the teachers in the school. Budget cuts almost always result in cutting teachers, by going green the San Jose schools can keep their teachers around, keep the class sizes small and help to give the students the individualized attention they need to succeed in school. With bigger class sizes, due to teachers being cut, the education falls short for the students so in a way wasting energy not only affects the school districts wallet, but it directly affects the students by crowding them into rooms with too many students for the teachers to handle. One day hopefully all schools will be going green and when that day comes, schools around the country will start to see less teacher’s cut and better school ratings.

Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit California School Rankings and Public School Rankings