The air purifier in teacher Andres’ classroom at MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School in Santa Ana was installed in 2021. But the first time the light went red no new filters could be found, a result of supply chain woes. Now, about two months after installing a replacement, the warning signal is back.
Andres, a sixth-grade math teacher who’s taught in the same class, Room 7, for 30 years, said the air problem isn’t just about COVID-19.
“We have mold issues,” she said. “There are issues like this all over the county. Some of these schools are old.
“Teachers just want to know that the air quality is good,” she added.
The issue isn’t trivial, or misunderstood. Studies have linked dirty air inside of schools — particularly in communities with dirty air outside of schools — to a variety of health conditions and learning delays. It’s also known that a proven, cost-effective way to clean up school air is to improve a school’s ventilation system.