Op-Ed: California makes it too hard for schools to shield kids from extreme heat
In December, I visited the City of L.A.’s San Joaquin Valley, a place that has been scorching summers since the 1940s. If you’re in that neighborhood and a car does stop, you might have to wait in the hot sun while the window gets rolled down. If you’re someone who can’t wait, you get a ticket in the mail.
Some people might call this excessive police action in pursuit of someone who looks like they may be committing a crime. I call it a way to combat the heat, which, for the sake of the children, is getting too excessive.
A little over a decade ago, California mandated that all campuses, including the private and charter, could designate classrooms as air-conditioned spaces. The schools could then request that residents pay to heat the spaces. And they could receive a small refund on their bill if the heat got too hot.
I can now add my own voice to the millions who have spoken against this law. It’s a law that is killing the sun in my community. And it’s driving my community mad.
On April 4, my wife and I drove from Oakland to San Diego. We arrived at our destination and were about to leave the car and drive on. As we were getting ready to leave, our cell phone rang. To my wife’s credit, she listened intently as my call went to voice mail. When she finally heard my voice, she called to tell me to get in the car. She told me to call back to hear my message. So there I was, driving through the heat and the glare of the sun in the San Diego sunshine, on my way to San Joaquin County, where our state senator, Mike McGuire, was holding a town hall meeting about the state’s mandatory school air-conditioning law.
“Do you think this is too much