Posted by Johann Nacario — September 22, 2023 — AIHA, the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) in the workplace and community, commends Members of Congress for introducing the Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2023, which would help improve the learning and working conditions of schools nationwide. The legislation is endorsed by 19 organizations representing the education, infrastructure, and occupational and environmental health and safety sectors.
Lawrence D. Sloan, CEO of AIHA, stated:
This bill would improve the indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and water safety of schools while reducing the presence of toxic substances, excessive noise, and other health, safety, and environmental hazards that could impact student learning. The bill would also collect key data on school infrastructure to help parents, policymakers, and other key stakeholders make informed decisions. AIHA encourages Members of Congress to pass this critically needed bill immediately.
The [Re]Build America’s Schools Infrastructure Coalition (BASIC), of which AIHA is a member, also endorsed the announcement.
In schools across the country, students and educators are learning and working in unsafe conditions. According to the 2021 State of Our Schools Report, there is an $85 billion yearly gap in unmet needs for school operation, maintenance, and improvement. The Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2023 establishes a need-based grant program for local educational agencies to improve school facilities. It also specifies allowable uses of grant funds, including significant repairs, improving indoor air quality, and making facilities accessible to disabled individuals.
For AIHA, improvements to the indoor environmental quality of school facilities are of particular interest. Poor indoor air quality can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, aggravate asthma, and lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea, which could detract from the learning experience.
To learn more about the Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2023, see the Congressional announcement.