Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Schools teaching in a new light

 The Batesville School District in Arkansas switched to solar power in 2017, after discovering they were spending $600,000 a year on electricity and running a $250,000 budget deficit. Superintendent Michael Hester, who knew faculty pay was low, causing quick turnover, took out a bond to buy 1,400 PV solar panels.

In just three years, Hester's gamble turned the budget deficit into a $1.8 million surplus, which he used to raise teacher pay. This improved test scores, since the district can now hold on to quality teachers. Living near a coal-fired plant, administrators worried how the public might feel about the switch. They found a sympathetic populace, who understood that solar power represented jobs of the future.

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