252016 Accelerating the adoption of sound school siting policies through third party certification

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:06 AM

Darryl Alexander, BA , American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC
In the US, the federal government has modest jurisdiction over schools and school district policies and provides less than 5% of total education budgets. The US Department of Education has only recently begun to examine some aspects of the built-environment and its impact on student achievement and well-being. The US EPA has been the driving force in providing guidance on asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) and indoor air quality in schools. Over twenty years, the agency has made some inroads in convincing school entities to focus on improving and modifying the built-environment. The anticipated release of US EPA school siting guidance will probably have a similar impact. Adoption of these guidelines or more stringent ones will require regulatory and policy strategies as well as incentives. At the state level, coalitions are actively advocating for comprehensive legislation mandating strict siting requirements. At the same time, the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS) and others have been successful at passage of legislation mandating that new school construction abide by a green certification process. This presentation examines how siting requirements could be incorporated into third party certification as another avenue to assure that districts adhere to good siting practices.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
List two ways that siting requirements could be incorporated into third party certification for siting schools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am director of health and safety for the American Federation of Teachers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.