The Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee held legislation S-817 (Smith) which seeks to “establishes temperature control guidelines and standards for school facilities.” NJPSA voiced concerns with the legislation seeking amendment to the bill.
Specifically the bill would require school districts ensure that students are educated in a temperature-controlled environment that is conducive to learning. Under the bill each school district must:
- strive to maintain to the extent feasible room temperatures within the target range of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 79 degrees Fahrenheit in all occupied areas of school facilities;
- measure the temperature of an occupied area of a school facility when a temperature outside the target range is suspected; the measurement must be taken in the area where the greatest temperature extreme is expected to occur;
- relocate students and staff from an occupied area with a recorded temperature below 63 degrees Fahrenheit or above 89 degrees Fahrenheit within two hours of the temperature measurement; and
- report by telephone a temperature-related relocation within 24 hours to the Department of Health and Senior Services.
In addition this bill requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to conduct an inspection of any school facility that relocated students due to temperature control issues more than twice in a school year to ensure that the facility meets State indoor air quality standards. This bill also requires school districts to review and implement temperature control measures as feasible and appropriate and to the extent permitted by local building and fire codes.
NJPSA voiced concerns with the legislation particularly focusing in on the two-hour evacuation requirement.