McDermott helps land $2.3 million for Campbell High Air Conditioning
Representative Bob McDermott and other Hawaii legislators expected to vote to appropriate $2.3 million for Campbell High School air conditioning as part of Hawaii's state budget
News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott April 29, 2014
Representative Bob McDermott (40th District – Ewa, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Iroquois Point) and his State House and Senate colleagues will be voting on the latest version of the Hawaii state budget on Tuesday. The measure, HB 1700 H.D. 1 S.D. 1 C.D.1, is expected to pass both houses. It with then be sent to Governor Neil Abercrombie for his signature.
Among other items, the budget specifically appropriates $300,000 of general obligation bond funds toward the design of school-wide heat abatement and air conditioning upgrades, ground and site improvements, equipment, and appurtenances. Further, another $2 million is appropriated for the actual construction of an air conditioning system.
A recent study done by Loyola University found that air temperature has an impact on memory ability. Test scores were significantly higher in the classroom where the temperature was 72 degrees. Further, additional research clearly indicates he association between student performance and heat abatement. That is quite simply, kids do learn and test better in cooler classrooms.
Rep. McDermott said, "I and all my fellow legislators work at the State Capitol building, and use air conditioning. We work on highly technical language and legalities every day. Without air conditioning, it would be much more difficult to concentrate on our work. We want the next generation to achieve. Yet for years, the State expected Campbell High Schools students to study in sweltering heat. This appropriation will help change that."
Rep. McDermott also noted the tireless efforts of the outspoken Campbell High teacher Corey Rosenlee, who brought hundreds of students to the Capitol earlier this year, to help rally for air conditioning: "If I could vote for Mr. Rosenlee as 'Campbell Teacher of the Year', I would. I was honored that the students let me speak at their rally. Mr. Rosenlee and the children of Campbell deserve the credit for making us listen. They would not be ignored."
The funding for air conditioning is not yet in the clear, however. Governor Abercrombie, under the state constitution, has the authority to make "line-item vetoes" on budget bills and cross out appropriations.
"I hope the Governor understands the importance of this issue, especially for the sake of the students", McDermott added. "I believe he will do the right thing, and leave the appropriation intact."