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Baltimore Officials Call for Necessary Air Conditioning Installations in Schools

Many students in Baltimore County, MD, have long been without adequate arrangements at school. About one-third of schools in the area are without air conditioning; state officials are speaking up about the repercussions of a lack of air conditioning for children on hot days. State Comptroller Peter Franchot has held a series of town hall […]

Baltimore Officials Call for Necessary Air Conditioning Installations in Schools

Many students in Baltimore County, MD, have long been without adequate arrangements at school. About one-third of schools in the area are without air conditioning; state officials are speaking up about the repercussions of a lack of air conditioning for children on hot days.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot has held a series of town hall meetings addressing the issue. According to The Baltimore Sun, he called upon fellow politicians to spend $10 million to provide relief to the students suffering without sufficient cooling systems.

Dozens of schools in Baltimore County do not have an air conditioning system. Franchot says he is concerned for the health of students who have to endure uncomfortably hot temperatures while in the classroom.

Several parents and teachers attested to the need for air conditioners in their school buildings. Even students noticed that the heat is affecting their ability to learn.

At one point during the 2014-2015 school year, the indoor temperatures climbed to a balmy 87 degrees.

First-grader Brea Schisler complained that the heat hinders her studies. “My head hurts all the time, in the beginning and middle of school, because it is so hot outside. How can we learn when we feel like this?” she said.

Two middle schoolers agreed and stated the heat hampers their ability to concentrate during tests. They also expressed concern for the safety of their teachers, who spend most of the day on their feet in the sweltering heat.

If the proposed budget is approved, 18 schools will get the central air conditioning they so deserve. An air conditioning system lasts an average of 12 years, so this will provide a lasting solution for the children in the district instead of a temporary fix.

The $10 million budget would come from the county to purchase portable air conditioners for the classrooms.

According to the article, there was a vote for portable air conditioners back in December that was deferred. A representative from the state Senate did so to allow for “consultation between the members of the Board of Public Works and the leadership of the General Assembly.”

Franchot continues to stress the urgency of this situation, calling for the funds immediately. The expenditure needs to be approved by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz before spending can begin.

“There’s plenty of money,” Franchot said. “All he has to do is say yes.”

The budget has not yet been approved.

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