NEA Spotlights Urgent Need for School Modernization


photos and article by Cindy Long

When it rains, water pours out of the ceiling into Christopher Meyer’s classroom. He places buckets around the room, pushes student desks out of the way, and puts a tarp over his own desk. Then he has to scramble to find a dry, safe room where he can continue his lessons.

“At one point I had a waterfall cascading into a light fixture in the ceiling,” Meyer says. “Kids were sitting in puddles in metal chairs as water hit exposed wires. They were like individual lightening rods. You can’t get any more dangerous than that.”

Meyer, a seventh grade social studies teacher at Southern Middle School in Reading, Pennsylvania, showed the abysmal state of his classroom to NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen and NEA Health Information Network Director Jerry Newberry during American Education Week. The purpose of their visit was to highlight the dire, immediate need for school modernization funding to repair schools that are literally falling to pieces.

They also let students and educators at Southern Middle know that NEA and its members are urging Congress to pass the Fix America’s Schools Today Act, which would provide $25 billion for modernizing and repairing public schools, with half of the funds funneled to schools that need it most.

Click here to read the full story at, or visit our Legislative Action Center to send an email to your elected official urging them to support the Fix America’s Schools Today (FAST) Act.

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