By Stephanie Muñiz
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — Since the start of the school year teachers and parents have expressed their concerns over the air conditioners at schools being broken, now two weeks into the school year this is still the same concern.
The president of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, Ellen Bernstein, said: “This has been a problem since school started and it happens to be a really hot and humid summer.”
She added, “What we need to remember is that teaching conditions are learning conditions.”
Some teachers say this happens every year.
Third-grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary school, Rose Schiowitz, said: “It just gets tiring after a while. It’s like we can put up with one season of it but year after year really wears you down and I think again it’s a basic need that is not being met.”
According to Albuquerque Public School’s spokesperson Monica Armenta, there’s operational challenges happening around the country.
“It isn’t as simple as why don’t you hire more? Why isn’t this fixed? It’s extremely frustrating to all of us but it is what we’re facing as a nation and has a school district right now,” Armenta said.
But teachers say they need a solution.
“I have 17 students in the classroom and a lot of them are just really hot and there’s no relief for how hot they are,” Schiowitz said.
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation recognizes that staffing is a challenge.
“I know there’s a shortage of people and parts but we have to solve this problem, we have to get portable air units and fans into all these classrooms,” Bernstein said.
Meanwhile, some classrooms are still not equipped with COVID-19 safe air filtration systems.
Armenta said, “There are about 48% of all our schools now that have the UVC units installed. We’ve secured funding for all the schools and hope to have that process done so that every school has that system installed by the end of October.”
According to APS, they have multiple work orders at any given time, and not all are related to air conditioning.
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