This Article is About
budget cuts
mold spores
dust mites
direct correlation
centers for disease control and prevention
sicknesses
Are Your Children's Schools Making Them Sick: Budget Cuts Are Hurting Education In Surprising Ways
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Are Your Children\'s Schools Making Them Sick: Budget Cuts Are Hurting Education In Surprising Ways

There may be a need for new studies to confirm some frightening theories, but there are some preliminary numbers that are cause for alarm. One New York study has shown a direct correlation between a number of chronic sicknesses and budget cuts that have harmed building maintenance efforts. In other parts of the country, some older school buildings have been found to be in such poor repair that it has been cheaper to bulldoze them and start over from the bottom up. And, nearly half of all of the school nurses that were interviewed said that they knew the air quality conditions in the schools were causing major problems for the kids and the staff. A study estimates that at least one third of all US schools have problems with mold, dust and other dangerous conditions that impact air quality and can cause more serious problems.

Health is not the only thing that is impacted by the poor air quality in the schools. School performance is also adversely impacted when the kids are sick or miss a lot of classes. Asthma, previously considered a fairly rare condition, now affects one in ten kids in the country, with each of those kids missing an average of four days of school per year. In addition to missed days, the kids with chronic asthma and other breathing related conditions are often given medications that can cause them to have memory and learning problems and reduced ability to concentrate or focus.

Even in healthy children and adults, things like mold spores and dust mites can cause issues that can range from a few, minor sneezes during the day to a more serious bout of allergic reactions. Symptoms of those reactions can range from itchy, red eyes, a runny nose, cough, headache and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 20-30% are defined as moderately to highly susceptible to either mold or dust.

Budget cuts have been blamed for much of the increased mold in some school buildings. School districts know that some of the buildings are aging and not up to current codes but are totally out of funds to repair or replace those buildings. Mold has caused a number of schools to be closed, including one in Fairfield, Connecticut. A special education teacher there was sickened by the mold in the old building that she is now on disability, struck with COPD. That school building was torn down and rebuilt.


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