Despite a debate among residents and school board members in Worthington, Ohio, over global warming, the district has put itself on the map for installing rooftop solar panels on several of its elementary schools. The Columbus Dispatch highlights Evening Street Elementary School, whose solar panel project is ???the largest of its kind in a five-state region.???
Regardless of the dispute over warming (is there still a dispute?), Worthington Public Schools deserve credit for thinking creatively about cost-saving alternatives. (Granted, solar panels certainly have expensive up-front costs, and the Dispatch piece doesn't offer estimates for much money the green initiative will save.)
School districts' dramatic cost-saving measures are being underlined more and more in the news??? e.g. Kansas City is closing almost half of its schools in the face of a $50 million deficit; school districts nationwide are thinking about switching to four-day weeks; Toledo Public Schools might end all athletic programs. And a recent Fordham/AEI event focused on this very topic ??? A Penny Saved, How Schools and Districts Can Tighten Their Belts While Serving Students Better.
Despite what Worthington residents think about ice caps or rising temperatures, if the solar panel initiative at four of their schools ends up shrinking electricity costs ??? what is there to argue about?
-Jamie Davies O'Leary