How America’s schools got so sick

CityLab Daily

Bad grade: America's schools have never been safe places to learn, even before the pandemic hit. Asbestos, lead paint, unsafe drinking water, and insufficient heating and cooling are fixtures of public school districts nationwide. Many are also poorly ventilated, and need replacements or upgrades to their HVAC systems. Schools in these conditions often serve students in low-income communities of color.

But it doesn't have to be this way; in more affluent areas, "green schools" are designed with the environment and students' health in mind, prioritizing things like natural light and outdoor learning space. A proposed bill currently stalled in the GOP-led Senate would sponsor a proliferation of such facilities by investing billions into high-poverty schools, and repairing and renovating those that pose a health risk. As Zach Mortice writes, "the true value of healthy, well-designed schools becomes most clear when they're put in communities that lack abundant resources." Today on CityLab: How America's Schools Got So Sick

-Linda Poon

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What we're reading

  • Foreign hackers cripple Texas county's email system, raising election security concerns (ProPublica)
  • From garden streets to bike highways: four ideas for post-Covid cities – visualized (Guardian)
  • In a small Illinois city, a black man died after officers shoved a baton in his mouth. Black officers say they've suffered at the hands of the department, too. (The Appeal)
  • Facebook groups sent armed vigilantes to Kenosha. Your polling place could be next. (Mother Jones)
  • What public bathrooms taught me (Catapult)


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