A School Bought Solar Panels and Saved Enough to Give All Its Teachers Raises

“The sun will be shining anyway, so why not benefit from it?”

Increase Pay

A rural school district in Batesville, Arkansas was generating enough solar energy to give every teacher a raise, reports CBS News.

Salaries in the Batesville School District averaged only around $ 45,000, which resulted in many teachers leaving. It also proved difficult to attract new teachers to the city of just 10,000 inhabitants.

But then the school district, which included a high school and five other education centers, turned an unused field into a solar park in 2017. It also covered the front of the high school with 1,500 panels.

After installing the solar panels and investing in other new energy infrastructure, Climatewire reports that the district turned a $ 250,000 annual budget deficit into a $ 1.8 million surplus – enough to give each teacher a raise of up to 15,000, according to CBS Allow USD.

Make lemonade

Batesville is also just 17 miles west of Arkansas’ largest coal-fired power plant, as CBS points out, a downright ancient source of energy.

Now, better pay means the school is getting more resumes and fewer resignations from teachers, Batesville’s superintendent Michael Hester told CBS.

When asked if she would ever imagine getting a raise for solar panels, local teacher Jeanne Roepecke admitted that “it was not one of the things I would have thought of”.

“But what a great idea,” she added. “The sun will be shining anyway, so why not benefit from it?”

CONTINUE READING: The savings on the school’s solar panels can raise up to $ 15,000 for each teacher [CBS News]

More about solar energy: Harvard scientists propose super tall towers to power the lunar base

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