Are churches that have Sunday school classes, daycare centers, or kindergartens regulated under the Asbestos Emergency Response Act (AHERA)?
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) applies to public and private non-profit elementary and secondary schools. The term ‘non-profit elementary or secondary school’ means any elementary or secondary school as defined in section 198 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Under this Act, the terms elementary and secondary schools refer to day or residential schools which provide elementary or secondary education determined under state law. Sunday school classes and daycare accommodations would not be subject to AHERA.
However, kindergarten classes conducted in a church may be covered under the Act. Whether or not kindergarten classes conducted in a particular church are subject to AHERA would depend on the stipulations of the state education law in the state in which the church is located. If state law defines elementary and secondary education as K through 12, then that part of the church where kindergarten classes are conducted would be subject to AHERA because the classroom would be included under AHERA’s definition of “school building.”