[Video] Students Chime in on Solar’s Incredible Impact on Attleboro Schools
HOW DIFFICULT BUDGETARY RESTRICTIONS CAN LEAD TO IMPLEMENTING REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS
To give you a little back story, nearly 6,000 students in 5 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and one high school make up the Attleboro school system. Supporting such a large student body requires a hefty budget, and last year, Attleboro’s budget proposal was just too high for the city too accommodate. In order to stay within the smaller budget approved by the city, Attleboro had to make some really tough decisions. According to the Sun Chronicle, Attleboro had to lay off about 46 teachers in 2016 in order for them to stay within their fiscal year’s budget. The school found it very difficult to take this action, but they weren’t left with many other choices. Not only did many teachers have to find new work, but the students were upset by the loss of teachers too.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Attleboro is an honorable school district with the best intentions, so they sought out a way to achieve savings and alleviate the school’s budgetary strain moving forward. That’s when Attleboro discovered the incredible impact solar power could have on the school. Electric bills for schools can be outrageous, but it’s a cost that the school really can’t do without. With solar however, power can be purchased by the school at a discounted rate – savings them thousands each year. Once Marc Furtado, Director of Finance and Controller for Attleboro, took a look at the numbers it was a no-brainer for him, “Not only will the district save millions over the life of the system, but we’re having a positive impact on the environment, and setting a great example for our nearly 6,000 students”.
Attleboro is projected to save $150,000 annually by utilizing solar power. Over the 25-year lifetime of the system, considering the expected utility rate increase, the school will save $5,000,000+. That may not close the budget gap for them entirely, but it certainly helps.
WHAT STUDENTS HAD TO SAY ABOUT SOLAR FOR THEIR SCHOOL
The students are able to see the tremendous impact as well, “having a renewable energy source that can pay for itself will save the school so much money in the long run” says Kevin of Attleboro High. “And it’s just overall better for the environment and the community as a whole” he added.
It was really powerful to watch the community come together for this ribbon-cutting ceremony. Our Green Street team heard from so many different parties involved, just how much of an impact this project is having. Check out the video from the ceremony, and hear from students, faculty, and town representatives about this solar system.
The Sun Chronicle, “Nearly 50 Attleboro schoo employees to lose jobs despite increased budget”. http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/nearly-attleboro-school-employees-to-lose-jobs-despite-increased-budget/article_8a42b476-2825-11e6-825c-5bd8ff5ac12e.html