Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Energy Use in Schools Is a Community Issue

December 01, 2008 1 min read
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To the Editor:

I read with interest your article “District Leaders Exchange Ideas on Ways to Trim Energy Costs” (Nov. 5, 2008), which reported on the Oct. 23-24 “energy summit” in Washington sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators. It described well the importance of cutting the damage from poor energy management to school budgets and the environment.

But, as a presenter at the AASA conference, I was puzzled by the article’s failure to mention the necessity for good public communications to clarify and hammer home to school staff members and stakeholders-at-large the need for better ways to burn the midnight oil.

Energy use in schools is a community issue, since energy efficiency will impose at least short-term costs for parents and taxpayers. Preaching to the administrators’ choir is not enough. All the schools’ stakeholders must be included in the conversation.

Taking the lead in the community’s discussion of this issue is key to winning public understanding and support. It is the ground rule for effective school leadership. Success will depend on good communication.

Meg Carnes

Porterfield & Carnes Communications Inc.

Alexandria, Va.

A version of this article appeared in the December 03, 2008 edition of Education Week as Energy Use in Schools is a Community Issue

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