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Another bill for green school cleaning meets resistance

March 01, 2010
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DES MOINES, IA — A proposed Iowa bill encouraging schools to use green cleaning products is the latest of similar bills to be met with criticisms that the change would increase costs for schools, according to the Des Moines Register.

According to the story, House File 823 would require schools to perform an audit of environmentally friendly cleaning products and begin using the products by July 1, 2012.

While supports of the bill argue the products will actually save schools money and are safer for children and the environment, critics say the bill does not provide enough additional financial support to help schools execute the change, the story stated.

Lew Finch, executive director of the Urban Education Network of Iowa, said: "This is another example of an unfunded mandate. Without the accompanying funds, it''s just going to have another negative impact on the instruction in schools."
If the bill were to pass, Iowa would join the ranks of at least 10 states that either require or encourage schools to use green cleaning products, but Representative Dwayne Alons says the Iowa version of the bill goes beyond other states in its requirements, and that schools would have to use valuable resources — both financially and through labor — to fulfill them, the story noted.

Alons said: "If local districts have a board that desires to do that, then they should be able to make that decision. Some of our schools have a tight budget already, and then the state would be directing them to use, I believe, more expensive cleaning supplies. Where''s the money going to come from?"

Debate on the bill could begin as early as next week, and there would be a process for schools to apply to opt out of the program, the story added.

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