People. Power. Potential: How KIPP DC Is Putting Energy Into Education
“We have a long-term academic plan, so every dollar we save in the operation of our schools we are able to reinvest in classrooms."
- Donny Tiengtum, Principal, KIPP DC Spring Academy
“At KIPP we take a comprehensive approach, providing a broad-based education that prepares students to be well-rounded, thoughtful citizens. We’re committed to giving our students anything they need to be successful, and I’m grateful to work in a place that can provide those resources,” says Donny Tiengtum, principal at KIPP DC Spring Academy, one of 16 schools operated by KIPP DC.
In its 17th school year, KIPP DC has six campuses housing those 16 schools in the District, which educate more than 6,000 students grades pre-K3 through 12. KIPP DC has been working with the DCSEU for several years to uncover opportunities to save on their energy costs when making upgrades on existing buildings and building new schools. From LED lighting and HVAC upgrades to comprehensive planning during construction, the operational savings begin to add up.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2018 report, Energy Efficiency Programs in K-12 Schools: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs, energy costs are second only to personnel costs as the leading draw on K-12 school district operating budgets - totaling approximately $8 billion annually nationwide (U.S. EPA, 2008; U.S. DOE, Undated). An estimated $2 billion of that total can be saved by improving energy efficiency in K-12 schools, an amount equivalent to the cost of nearly 40 million new textbooks (U.S. EPA, 2004b; U.S. DOE, 2006).
"Giving students increased access to technology, hiring additional literacy coaches, and having more robust extracurricular programming for students and their families--all of these help us further our mission of educating the next generation of Washingtonians and creating a brighter, more equitable District of Columbia,” says Tiengtum.