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Hawaii lawmakers push for relief from hot classrooms


    \Ceiling fans are absent in the classroom of instructor Sherwin Aquino on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 at Pohakea Elementary School in Ewa.

Most of Hawaii’s public schools don’t have air conditioning, and record-high temperatures have left teachers and students saying they can’t focus because of the heat.

Hawaii lawmakers are saying it’s time to cool Hawaii’s public schools. A proposal being considered by the House Committee on Finance would fund air conditioning for Hawaii’s public schools and speed up the process to install cooling systems in classrooms.

The proposal would also set a goal that all Hawaii public schools are net-zero in energy use by 2035. The bill requests $130 million in a loan program and bonds to pay for air conditioning and other equipment to help schools become cooler and more sustainable.

The bill says installing air conditioning a single classroom can cost up to $30,000.

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