A school district in Michigan is considering a “pay to plug” program that would require teachers and school employees who use desk lamps, small fans, and mini-fridges to pay a fee. The program, designed to lessen the strain on the system’s shrinking budget, could save Chippewa Valley Public Schools at least $25,000, according to school officials. The plan, similar to one implemented in Grosse Pointe Public Schools, is part of an energy-saving initiative, which, according to business manager Chris Fenton, also includes making sure computers and lights are turned off. “If you take all of those pieces, they all add up and you can get to $100,000 pretty quick, and now you’re looking at the cost of a couple of teachers,” said Fenton. Doug Pratt of the Michigan Education Association countered, saying pinching pennies won’t thwart budget cuts. “I have no problem talking about energy conservation, but when we’re talking about school districts telling teachers they can’t bring a fan from home into the classroom to help make the learning environment more livable for students, that really shows the financial situation of the state,” he said.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.