CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered the Chicago Public Schools to begin installing air conditioning in every classroom beginning this summer.
More than 200 existing public schools in Chicago currently have no air conditioning, or are only partly air-conditioned. Those schools will be given air conditioning in every classroom within the next five years, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s office did not reveal how much the initiative would cost, or how the district would pay for it, other than to say the money would come from capital construction funds, not the CPS operating budget.
Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), who chairs the City Council Education Committee, said she supports the plan.
“My whole take is to make sure that the environment that the students are supposed to learn in is comfortable for them to learn in,” she said. “So when we use our capital dollars, we need to make sure the environment is in top shape.”
Last year, CPS installed air conditioning in 70 schools, including 55 that were serving as “welcoming schools” for students from nearly 50 schools that were closed due to under-enrollment.