Survey Reveals Disparities In IAQ Prioritization In K-12 Schools

Only 26% of teachers rated their school’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as good or excellent.

There’s a concerning gap between educators and school authorities regarding the prioritization of indoor air quality (IAQ) in K-12 educational facilities, according to a new survey. The national survey, conducted by Fellowes in partnership with We Are Teachers, polled 2,682 K-12 educators about IAQ in U.S. schools. The results highlight a disconnect in the allocation of resources, with Indoor Air Purification Systems ranking consistently low among school district priorities.

Despite overwhelming acknowledgement from teachers — 96% of whom recognize the direct correlation between air quality and student performance — only 26% rated their school’s IAQ as good or excellent. Despite federal funding efforts aimed at their implementation, 40% of respondents reported a complete absence of air purification units throughout their schools.

Air Quality In Schools, IAQ educational facilities
(Source: Fellowes)


Nearly all (97%) teachers surveyed believe that school districts bear the responsibility of providing clean air in classrooms. However, survey findings suggest that schools frequently fall short in prioritizing air quality in crucial facility management and budgetary decisions. Compared to other facility-related items (including classroom technology, athletic facilities, classroom surfaces, HVAC/temperature control, and restroom cleaning) teachers claimed that school district leaders rated IAQ as the lowest priority.

“Sickness and absenteeism of students and teachers alike are critical problems that improvements to indoor air quality have been proven to solve.”

— Arti Lyde, Fellowes

In the survey, teachers across the country expressed their continued concerns and need for air purification in their classrooms. Improved IAQ can increase productivity and improve mental tasks in both adults and children, leading to better conditions for learning. Investing in air purification systems with enhanced filtration can mitigate risks associated with airborne viruses, bacteria, pollution, asthma, allergens, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), according to Fellowes.

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“Teachers want a healthy environment for themselves and their students, and they are asking their school districts to prioritize indoor air quality,” said Arti Lyde, Global General Manager of Air Quality Management at Fellowes. “Sickness and absenteeism of students and teachers alike are critical problems that improvements to indoor air quality have been proven to solve. At Fellowes we are committed to continuing the development of innovative IAQ solutions to increase healthy air and reduce sickness for teachers, students, and their wider communities.”

In conjunction with a recent We Are Teachers’ Clean Air for Classrooms Giveaway initiative, Fellowes gave away 100 air purification systems to teachers in 26 states.


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