It’s no secret that teachers are not paid what they are worth. It has even gotten worse in recent years, as public schools across the nation are struggling to tighten their belts and it seems as if the teachers are the ones who are most affected. At times, it only takes one school district to step up to the plate and show others how they can turn the tide.
In 2017, the Batesville School District made the switch to solar power. They were struggling with a budget deficit of $250,000, but, thanks to energy savings, they now have a surplus of $1.8 million. That surplus can be funneled back into the salaries for the teachers.
Entegrity is the company that provided the energy audit for the district in 2017. Although the school district only had six schools, they were spending $600,000 every year on energy. According to THV11, Michael Hester, the superintendent, knew that there were better ways to use the cash that was being spent on their energy bill. He also realized that raising the salaries of the teachers was one way to attract new talent and to retain the quality they already had at their disposal.
The district took the promises of millions of dollars worth of savings over the years and secured a bond to finance the change to solar power. 1400 solar panels were installed by the Batesville High School and within three years, the district has seen significant savings and has been able to boost the pay for the teachers. As a result of those changes, they have seen an increase in their state rankings, all the while enjoying a lower carbon footprint.
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It turns out that there are many schools across the nation that are looking for ways to lower global missions while at the same time, reducing costs and overcoming budget problems.
According to Environmental Health News, 5.3 million students are now attending schools that are powered by solar, at least in part. This has occurred across 28 states in the United States, as well as in the District of Columbia.
One of the concerns of many administrators is that there would be public backlash from the switch, but in Batesville, the opposite was true. They live near an energy plant that is coal-fired and will be closing in the next 10 years or so.
The switch to solar did not make residents in the area upset, but rather, they recognize that renewable energy is their future. Let’s hope that more school districts hop on board to the benefit of everyone.Whizzco