NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City has dedicated nearly $29 million over the next five years to buy and install air conditioning units in all of its classrooms.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that that “countless parents” have raised the issue at town hall meetings.

Council Member Brad Lander says hot classrooms make it hard for kids and teachers to concentrate. He says some students with asthma or special needs could not attend classes because of the heat — and some kids have even fainted.

“More than a quarter of the city’s classrooms, about 11,000 classrooms, don’t have air conditioning,” Lander tells WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “And you know, on a cool day like today that’s okay but on an increasing number of days in May and June and September, it’s just too hot to learn that kids can’t focus and concentrate.”


The council member also credits “people all over the city have been calling for this in every neighborhood and the young people that came to the steps of the city hall to advocate and push, they delivered thousands of petitions.”

About 11,500 classrooms — 26 percent — currently lack air conditioning.

Lander says he’s thrilled that the five-year plan is finally going forward.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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