We remember the air conditioning controversy during 2016 when Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot wanted to give non-AC Baltimore County schools funding to install single classroom AC units until central air projects were completely in those schools. At the time, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz refused the plan calling for portable units and called it a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The late county executive’s plan called for an accelerated schedule to get all 20 non-AC schools climate control by 2021.
The heat in September 2017 was not as excessive as September 2016 and none of the non-AC schools had to close.
That has not been the case the first two days into the school year. Even a later start after Labor Day could not prevent a heat wave. Now there are only 10 schools that are part of the closure but many argue that is still 10 too many.
In Dundalk, there are three non-AC elementary schools that are being rebuilt but those students will suffer in the meantime at their old schools. With the closures, many are pointing the blame to the Kamenetz/ Don Mohler Administration.
“The status quo in Baltimore County has failed our students. It’s time to move in a new direction,” GOP County Executive candidate Al Redmer said in a statement about the schools closing.
Hogan also criticized both Baltimore City and County for still having to close schools for lack of climate control.
“It is completely unacceptable that some schools in the same two jurisdictions are back in this same position this year, starting the school year with no air conditioning when we have been pushing them to fix it for years,” Hogan told the Baltimore Sun.
Air Conditioning in Baltimore County Public Schools was not supposed to be a campaign issue, but then the temperature decided to soar into the high 90s after Labor Day.