Jan 6, 2003
Even before the snow fell in the early December storm, the schools in Washington D.C. had plenty of leaking roofs, faulty furnaces and 14,000 work repair orders not completed.
Then came the snow and cold, making things worse. Recent cutbacks mean that maintenance staff can't go into schools Sunday night to turn up the heat. That means students enter schools on Monday when temperatures in classrooms hover around 55 degrees.
"My toes have gone numb every hour," one teacher said. "I can't even think in this environment, much less teach, and it's really unfair to the kids. I know if I can't focus to teach them, they can't learn, either."And why don't the D.C. schools have enough money? Because Congress, which controls their budget, is cutting back on "non-essentials" – among which Congress clearly counts education for Washington's children.