School district turns up thermostat in summer heat

A Valley School District has dropped out of a partnership with Arizona Public Service after heated parents complained their children were being forced to sit in hot classrooms.

"The kids, the first thing they said when they got off the bus yesterday, was mom it was so hot," said Melody Cabral, who has two children in the school district.

Cabral and several other angry parents contacted ABC15 after their children came home on Tuesday and said their school turned off the air conditioner.

A district spokesperson said schools never turned off the AC, but admits about 25 schools turned the thermostat up to 80 degrees on Tuesday.

"You get 26 kids in a room at 80 degrees - it's not 80 degrees many more," said Cabral.

The move was part of the APS Peak Solutions Program. It's a Valley wide effort to conserve energy and save money on days when it's hot outside and a lot of electricity is being used.

Participating school districts and businesses can voluntarily raise the temperatures in their facilities.

Angry parents in the Dysart School District vented their frustrations on the district's Facebook page calling the idea crazy, ridiculous, and insane.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the district announced it won't happen again saying, "After feedback received from parents and staff, we will no longer be participating in the APS Peak Power Solutions Program."

For parents in the district, it's a lesson there's strength in numbers.

"My voice and the voice of the other moms I know was heard," Cabral said. "I think enough of us were angry and enough of us stood up and said hey this is not okay! As a parent, it makes me feel good the school district listened."

APS said 20 other school districts participate in the same program but would not release which districts those were, but added the program is voluntary and schools are not required to adjust temperatures.

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