When you think of the word “school” what comes to mind? Overcrowding? Leaking roofs, mold and mercury exposure? Extreme temperatures, windows that don’t open? Inadequate air quality from poor ventilation? How about asbestos, lead in drinking water, or rodent infestations? Unfortunately, for many students and staff in New Jersey, these issues are a daily reality. As a result, there is increased absenteeism, illness, and poor morale.

The good news is that New Jersey already has a framework in place to fix these problems.

The bad news is that the SDA is out of money. It has not received any new funding since 2008, and all prior funding has been used or is already allocated. This means that there are zero funds available for any new major capital projects in SDA or ROD districts despite the tremendous need that remains.

Read the full opinion-editorial by Heather Sorge, WEC campaign organizer for Healthy Schools Now and Rosie Grant, executive director of Paterson Education Fund.