Arkansas is a state known for poor education and low income, but that might change with their new implementation of solar panels in schools all over the area. As a result of the new energy savers, the schools are able to increase the teachers’ salaries and eliminate their budget deficits. After discovering that the Batesville School District was spending $600,000 a year on electricity between six school buildings, the school board knew something had to change.
Michael Hester, the superintendent for Batesville, also realized that low pay was causing frequent turnover in teachers and faculty. By convinces the district to switch to renewable energy, the budget would increase for paying professionals. It only took 1,400 PV solar panels to get there. Though the district lost money at first, they've now announced that their change has generated a profit of 1.8 million, which was used to raise teachers’ pay, resulting in higher quality teachers sticking around longer.
Thanks to Hester's success, schools all over Arkansas have now followed suit and seen similar surpluses. Even the coal mining areas were sympathetic to new ways of the future, seeing that renewable energy was the way for new employment. Batesville is now one of several dozen school districts around the United States that have made the jump to eco-friendly alternatives for energy. In America during 2019, 5.3 million children were enrolled in schools powered by solar electricity.