Arkansas schools have installed solar panels to consume less energy and pay their teachers more salaries. Utilizing solar panels is one of the best ways to save energy and money. These schools were able to save more money and increase their teachers’ salaries.
The Batesville School District in Arkansas started using solar power in 2017 when the school realized they were spending about $600,000 annually on electricity bills between six school buildings. The audit made by Entegrity, an energy efficiency company revealed this. As at that time, the school buildings were simultaneously running a $250,000 budget deficit.
On realizing that faculty pay was very low, resulting in a quick staff turnover, Batesville superintendent Michael Hester took out a bond to finance a switch from conventional electric power to renewable energy in the form of 1,400 PV solar panels.
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Hester’s gamble turned the quarter-million-dollar budget deficit into a $1.8 million surplus in a span of three years. This surplus was invested in teacher’s salaries and even the test scores of their district due to its ability to hold on to quality teachers. Other districts proceeded to follow Hester’s example and install solar panels.
The administrators were concerned about what public opinion might be as regards the switch since they reside near a coal-fired plant set to close in a decade. However, they found out that the populace understood that solar power represented the jobs of the future.
Arkansas schools inspired other schools to join the solar panel club. Batesville has joined a number of other school districts across the nation that is switching to solar power. In the U.S, 5.3 million kids attended schools powered by solar electricity at the end of 2019.