I remember sweating it out, literally, in classrooms without air conditioning when I was a student. I didn’t enjoy air conditioning in school until I went away to college. Well, OK, there was 4th grade when our class was in the basement of the Blessed Sacrament rectory, but the AC we got there was just leftovers from upstairs. Comfort that was completely unintentional.
The difference, though, is that we didn’t start school as early in August as they do now. In fact, back in early grade school, we didn’t resume classes until after Labor Day. Sure we were still hot for a week or two, but not for over a month like kids going back today in mid-August. Sitting in a hot, hot classroom doesn't add anything to the experience; believe me I remember.
But it would cost $64 million to provide air conditioning in the Springfield schools, and that doesn’t include future maintenance and power costs. I think a better solution would be to start the school year later. While this would mean ending the school year later too, it’s usually not as hot at the end of May as it is in the middle of August.
I think this is a fairly simple solution. $64 million is a lot of money that could be better used elsewhere. Of course, this assumes the Springfield district stays with its summers-off schedule rather than having year-round classes. If they switch, then I see no choice but to install the AC.