School District Turns to Solar Power, Teachers Get Raise from Savings

After an unused field was covered with solar panels, teachers' salaries rose by $15,000.
Fabienne Lang
Solar panels on top of a buildingbaona/iStock

A school district in Batesville, Arkansas made a significant switch to renewable energy. It bought solar panels to power the school disctrict, and in doing so saved up a bunch of money that it then used to give its teachers pay rises. 

Thanks to lower energy bills, the school district, which comprises one high school and five other education centers, reports Futurism, was able to pay its teachers an extra $15,000 each.

Prior to this, it had been tricky to keep teachers working in the district, as pay was low and it's in a rural part of the state that not many people want to move to.

What the Batesville school district did

The school turned things around in 2017 by buying some 1,500 solar panels that were installed in a nearby unused field. Left over panels were attached to the school itself. Any leftover power generated by the pantels is sold back to the gird in order to power the local region, too, wrote IFLScience!

Between the lower utility bills and the district's renewable energy generation, what was once one of the lowest average salary disctricts has risen to one of the top, reported CBS News, the first to spread the news.

It's easy to comprehend why the school district has now turned into a popular spot for teachers to apply to, and fewer resignations are now being handed in.

Overall, the move to renewable energy in Batesville has not only helped the planet, it's also directly improved the lives of many teachers and kids in the district. 

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There's certainly been an increase in the use of renewable energy in the U.S., with 11.4 percent of the nation's energy being generated from renewables — although that's still a far way down from the 80 percent still coming from fossil fuels.

The good news is that prices to buy solar panels and wind turbines is dropping, which incentivizes more companies, industries, and now schools to turn to them for power.

It's fantastic to see initiatives like the Batesville school district's turn to renewable energy, and this is a clear example of the direct positive effects using this source of energy generates.

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