For decades, there has been scientific consensus that temperatures above 80 degrees produce harmful physiological effects that decrease work efficiency and output. According to the National Clearinghouse of Facilities, poor thermal conditions have also been shown to negatively impact student and teacher morale and performance.

No child should have to deal with extreme classroom temperatures that are not conducive to learning and may pose a serious health risk. The closure of schools because of intemperate weather is a reminder of the significant facility issues that confront all public schools.

John Dixon/The News-Gazette A fan blows a slight breeze on students in Lindsay Polarek's Geometry class At Central High School in Champaign on Thursday Aug. 22, 2013. By 10 am the temperature in the third floor classroom had reached 88¼. Principal Joe Williams said it is common for temperatures to reach into the 90's in the classrooms by afternoon.

In an era of increasing temperatures, longer summers, and harsher winters because of climate change, the problem of extreme temperatures in the classroom won’t go away anytime soon. In fact, it will likely continue to get worse. It’s imperative that we ensure that classrooms are optimum learning environments. Passage of temperature control legislation would avoid the minute-by-minute waffling that too often occurs when districts are thinking of closing schools because of the weather. It would transform an opaque process and make it more transparent for all constituencies: parents, teachers, principals, administrators and students.

Show your support for much needed temperature control legislation by signing our petition!