TAKE ACTION: Classrooms Are Heating Up!

classroom heat

Temps are spiking, and educators are speaking up: NYSUT assembles classroom heat report

It’s only May, but educators are already dreading June, and the excessive classroom temperatures that come with it. This past September, indoor classroom temperatures reached the mid-90s and 100 degrees in parts of the state, prompting teachers and parents alike to ask how children can be expected to learn — let alone function — in these inhumane conditions.

To raise awareness about the toll that these temps are taking on students and teachers, NYSUT has completed a new report: “Overheated: Excessive Classroom Heat.” The 70-page report includes testimony from hundreds of educators and parents across the state about the effects of extreme temperatures in our schools. The report also includes the latest research on the adverse impact excessive heat has on both student health and academic performance.

Excessive heat isn’t just uncomfortable for children, it’s dangerous, and the report includes stories of students and staff being taken away in ambulances, passing out in hallways, throwing up in wastepaper baskets and tearfully calling out for their mothers. In the report, educators document the temperatures and circumstances that make it impossible for their students to learn. They share the lengths they go to keep their students safe, but they also share their frustration that more isn’t being done to combat these dangerous learning conditions.

New York state students and educators deserve better. That’s why NYSUT is urging lawmakers to pass S.3397 (Skoufis) and A.9011 (Eachus) to establish maximum temperatures in school buildings. If approved, the law would require that districts address heat conditions when classroom temperatures hit 82 degrees and vacate classrooms entirely at 88 degrees.

“When schools are too hot, students can’t learn, and teachers can’t teach. Even animal shelters have maximum heat limits. Our schools do not, and it is disrespectful to both our students and educators," said NYSUT president Melinda Person.

Download Report: Overheated: Excessive Classroom Heat (PDF)


Join the fight to protect our students and educators from extreme heat in schools!

Visit the Member Action Center to contact your state representatives – and use the form below to tell us your classroom heat story!


We’ve collected hundreds of personal stories from parents and educators about extreme classroom temperatures.

Have we heard YOURS?

You can use the form below to write your story or upload a video.


Tell us about the heat in your classroom.

Your feedback helps in our ongoing efforts to address overheated workspaces and learning environments.

More stories here.


You can also click here to upload a 10-15 second clip showing what your overheating classroom looks like.

An abundance of fans, rising thermometers, sticky, stuffy air – we want to see it!

Scroll for additional classroom heat resources and to contact your state representative about this important issue.

Get the facts and take action against extreme classroom temperatures.

It's that time of year, and once again, classroom temperatures are rising!

When classrooms are too hot, students can't learn and teachers can't teach.

Extreme temperature isn’t just an inconvenience, it has a direct impact on student performance. Overheated schools also waste energy and cost school districts money.

Researchers found:

  • Taking an exam on a 90-degree day results in lower test scores, a 12.3 percent higher likelihood of failing a subject, and a 2.5 percent lower likelihood of graduating on-time.
  • Brain electrical activity of individuals who were under thermal stress and found heat interrupted their cognitive functioning, specifically working memory, information retention and information processing.

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Further studies indicate that lower classroom temperatures and improved air ventilation improve learning ability and student performance by as much as 10 to 20 percent.

  • Math test scores increased an average of 3.2% with improved classroom ventilation.
  • Math test scores rose another 2.8% when temperatures fell from a high of 78 degrees to a low of 67 degrees.



These are your tools to let your school, your district and your union know what’s going on in your classroom.

classroom heat log


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Take action now at the NYSUT Member Action Center! Urge state legislators to pass S.3397 (Skoufis)/A.447 (Joyner) establishing an unsafe maximum room temperature in school buildings and requiring schools to protect students and educators!

Thank you for joining the fight and taking action!

classroom heat