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Baltimore Co. Parents Offer To Pay For School’s Air Conditioning; Officials Say No

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A generous offer from some Baltimore County parents is rejected by school leaders. They offered to pay for air conditioning at their child’s school.

Gigi Barnett reports one state lawmaker is backing parents.

“We’re tired of saying pretty please. We’re now going to dynamite the bureaucracy out of the way,” said State Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Franchot says he’s at a boiling point over a $70 million request from Baltimore County school leaders last week. On Wednesday, the school board asked the state to pay for air conditioning at some schools, after turning down an offer from parents at Middleborough Elementary in Essex to buy a few AC window units.

“Some little third-grader said, ‘I put my head on my arm on my desk and I fall asleep, I’m so hot.’ Come on, Baltimore County,” Franchot said.

Now Franchot has launched an online petition on his website for parents who want to urge the school board to cool the classrooms. In a statement, Baltimore County School spokesman Charles Herndon said, “The district considered the offer…but the individual units would cost more in the long run. We look at solutions that will last the system a long time. It was just not advantageous for the school system.”

“Baloney. All of these classrooms can be air conditioned overnight,” Franchot said.

Franchot says he fears hot classrooms will become a safety hazard for students.

“Get in there and put window units in these classrooms. Every classroom in Baltimore County should be air conditioned by April,” he said.

Baltimore County school leaders confirm that all of their schools have some air conditioning but nearly 100 schools do not have full air conditioning throughout the building.

School districts around the state made their annual request for construction funds last week. Every year, state and local school leaders spend up to $1 billion combined on construction.

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    […] Balt. Co. Parents Offer To Pay For School's Air Conditioning; Officials Say No On Wednesday, the school board asked the state to pay for air conditioning at some schools…after turning down an offer from parents at Middleborough Elementary in Essex to buy a few AC window units. “Some little third grader said, `I put my head on my … Read more on CBS Local […]

  • Joan

    Private schools are not much better Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex claims that they cannot use air conditioners in their classrooms because the building’s electrical system is old and cannot handle a window unit in each of their roughly 14 classrooms. Sounds like bull to me since they have computer labs, tvs, vcrs, rolling laptop labs, etc, etc, yet cannot support air conditioners? Does anyone know if this is a valid excuse? Methinks it’s more about the electric BILL than the electrical system. Miraculously, the electrical system could handle air conditioning in the teacher’s lounge, principal’s office, etc. (You get the drift) Granted, this was a few years ago when I approached them about this when my children went there, perhaps they’ve installed them by now.

  • AD2536

    It is sad that kids have to sit there in the heat! Meanwhile those idiots sit in air conditioned offices talking out of their behinds! It is also sad that people like that run our educational system. I bet they would not sit all day in a building where there is no AC!

  • Baltimore2012

    Our Lady of Mount Carmel *still* does not have AC in the classrooms. I toured the school prior to sending my kids there and was told the AC was not working at the time, it was ridiculously hot! Little did I know, they meant the AC in the office for the principal and secretary, not the non-existant AC in the classrooms.

    • Joan

      It’s insane. And with their ASTRONOMICAL tuition rates that raise by the year, it’s uncalled for. At least St. Clare had modern classrooms and window air condition units in every room (and the school is the same age as Mt. Carmel High School). Yet, Fr. Bob went and pushed for Clare’s to close a couple of years ago and he got his wish. It’s all about money.

  • Baltimore County

    Why doesn’t Mr. Franchot get County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to help get the funds needed?? After all Mr. Kamenetz was very instrumental in miraculously finding funds to build a stadium for the Owings Mills highschool. Also, part of the funds came from donations from baltimore county families. Lastly, did county officals think abount the long term costs for maintence and upkeep for the stadium?
    Possibly, the funds could be obtained from the 4-million spent on books that are unfortunately not going to be used, but did officals think about those costs??

    • Jess

      Oh Kevin Kamenetz fought Peter F. on the whole thing. he is not supporting it. How things change when you are not doing a campaign. He talked a good game when he was running for county exc and said all schools will be air conditioned, now he has changed his mind.! He’s a liar.

  • Sarah

    The lie- I mean line- about “all schools have some AC” is ridiculous. At Franklin Middle in Reisterstown, the only place there is AC is in the main office and in the Annex (which is frequently broken). Only 6th graders use the Annex, so 7th and 8th grade students go the full day with NO AC in the hot days. On the 3rd floor, the classrooms get up to and over 95 degrees! Fans are not provided (unless a teacher pays for one themselves). Teachers who volunteered to buy widow units for their classroom were told it was a safety hazard and they were not allowed.

  • MJH

    Here is a way to get more out of the buracrats. On days where the heat is high start calling any and everyone you can, like OSHA, MOSHA for unsafe work place violations. Then call the local Health Department. Call 911 for help with overheated students. Call every TV station within 100 miles and tell them about a great news story of children being subjected to inhuman conditions. When the SH$T hits the fan at100 miles an hour you may just get some attention. The saying goes only the squeaky wheels get grease. Become a pain in someones A$$ and you will find your answers.

  • BSC

    Wow this is amazing. My generation went through 12 years of school without air conditioning, and guess what, we made it. The kids will survive a hot classroom. Get a clue people, we have more important things to worry about financially than whether or not to have air conditioning for our delicate kids. They will survive.

    • Joan

      Because kids in public schools with health issues should all be forced to either stay home for months and fail or must be forced to be homeschooled? And those who attend private schools and pay up the a$s for tuition should suck it up and accept that their kids must roast like marshmallows because the cheap school won’t pay a bit more for AC while its principals and pastors sit cooled and chilled like royalty in their icebox offices?

    • Joan

      Also, you must have not have READ the article- the PARENTS were willing to pay for the AC systems in the public schools, so it has nothing to do with tax dollars. READ

    • retphxfire

      BSC: First, check the temps., they are climbing higher than I’m guessing you were in school, for a couple reasons including more roads and buildings. Second, What is more important than the health of a child? Third, so they’ll survive, huh. Too bad it’s at the risk of permanent health problems. People like you…sheesh.

    • Lisa Wieman Meerdter

      Schools that we went to were built with cross-ventilation in mind. Newer schools have just one small window that does not allow for cross-ventilation, even if it does open.

  • wllharrington

    The majority of schools are on a large amount of land. I have often wondered why schools have not advocated geo-thermal heating and cooling for the schools. The initial outlay would cost but not much more than putting in standard a/c and the electricity saved would, in a few years, more than pay for the system. The same system would be used for heating as well and would vastly reduce if not eliminate the need for fossil fuels for heating.

  • dddddddddddd

    Don’t you get it the the people in charge don’t care about the kids. Go to there office I know they have AC. How can you sit there knowing these kids suffer while sitting in you AC office.I know THEY DO NOT GIVE A RATS BUTT.

    • Joan

      The kids are only a number to the higher-ups.

  • big tom

    when most of the people who post and complain about the A/C, did they have ac in the school when they went, I can bet that they didn’t and they didn’t die, cause they are here complaining, when I was in school we opened the windows, turned off the lights, and dropped the bilnds to block the sun!! We had class and went home, on an un air conditioned bus to an unair condition house that had windows open and a fan running; so why do kids need ac now, they run outside all day in the heat and never complain but go into school and boo hoo hoo it’s so hot, suck it up and deal with it.

    • Joan

      Oh, shut up Tom, you moron. Plenty of children have health issues like my son and there is no option for these kids.

      • big tom

        bite me

    • LaShelle

      Hey, Tom! I totally agree with you. What they are in school until mid-May and don’t go back iuntil September? Shouldn’t we be more concerned over the fact that our kids are so far behind the rest of the world in schience, mathematics and basic reading skills? Let’s concern ourselves with the real issues in school

      • jl

        Mid-May September? what the hell school do you go to..? schools in baltimore county start the 3rd week in August and go until the 2nd or 3rd week in June!

  • Cynthia Milstead

    I see people on here complaining abt schools nothaving ac but there are some schools n worse shape then just no ac . My kids school is so over crowded our max should be 311 kids n we have 476 students 3-4-5 grade only have 2 teachers for each grade and each teachers teachs abt 40 or more kids

    • Joan

      Honey, that’s just about every school in this area – public and private alike! There are plenty of issues in most schools, this is the topic of the article so that is why we are addressing it. This is an issue, especially in schools in which parents pay tuition. This can lead to serious health risks.

    • ballsohardclub

      Cynthia, Tell the parents to stop having babies.

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  • big tom

    Joan, public schools do not charge tuition, DUH, so if you have a problem then home school your kid, so make sure you have some facts right your own moron self!!!

    • Joan

      I never said they did. Tom, this is the 21st century. This is not the 1800s and we don’t let children with respiratory illnesses kick the bucket in the middle of an English lesson. A child with health issues should NOT be forced to be homeschooled, on the contrary they should be ACCOMODATED by a PUBLIC school, which is BY LAW to be REQUIRED to be accessible to all students, including those with respiratory illnesses who require AC. It’s about the law… with which you are obviously not familiar.

      • Santiago

        Jobs are hard to find for a 16 year old. Most places feprer to hire people over the age of 18. The best thing you can do is apply to as many places as possible. You’ll have to really play the numbers game. My first job was in a pizza restaurant and they were pretty good about hiring 16 year olds. The job was also a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Since you are still in high school, I wouldn’t recommend working more than 10-15 hours a week. You might be able to get a job in a supermarket as a bagger until you have enough experience to make cashier.

      • big tom

        please post this LAW you say they are to have AC in the school, then I may just listen to your gripe…NOT

  • Binny

    We didn’t have air conditioning either… but we didn’t start school until after Labor Day and school was out in early June.

  • Angela

    The point is, they shouldn’t have to suffer even if we did, health issue or not. It should be a federal requirement that all schools be air conditioned. Children have a higher ability to learn when not in a stressful environment. And we all want what’s best for our children. They have indoor portable a/c units now. If you can get a fan, why not one of the portable a/c units? It’s not connected to the outside and it plugs right into a regular wall outlet. And if the children don’t need ac, well the adults don’t either, that includes the principle, superintendent, the governor, the congressmen, the senators and the president.

  • Chris


    Air conditioners use a LOT more power than the electronics (TVs, VCRS, laptops) you’re talking about. There is more to electrical engineering than, “Plug it in an it will work.” Two or three AC units will draw more power than all the TVs, VCRs, and laptops in the whole building running at the same time. If they say 14 AC units will overload the building’s old electric wiring, then maybe that’s the truth.

  • nick

    I suggest we install geothermal (heat/air conditioning), solar and if possible wind energy. The payback is approx. 7 years. The monitoring of the energy can be used by the science and math instructors.
    Educating our students for the future.

    thank you for reading,

  • Quick Hits (2.3.12)

    […] just buying playground equipment with that bake sale money. In Baltimore County, Maryland, parents have offered to install air conditioning in a school. District officials said no. Watch for the issue of what parents can–and […]

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  • Daniel

    The Advance America located at 543 E. Coliseum Blvd is doing a Clothing/Food drive to beinfet the Rescue Mission/Charis House. Our collections started November 15, 2011 and will run through December 17, 2011. We are collecting new and gently used coats, clothing and bedding as well as non-parishable foods and personal hygiene items. We currently have collection boxes at the Advance America on Coliseum (next to Half price books and Carlos O’Kelly’s), Pakmail at 429 E Dupont Rd(behind Casa), The Clothes Fix’r 5749 St Joe Rd and Walgreen’s at 6730 Bluffton Rd (in Waynedale. We will have a Fill a Truck day on Saturday, December 17, 2011 from 9am-4pm in the parking lot of the Coliseum Shoppes. We are contacting local merchants to give coupons or discount out to those to help fill the truck. We are also asking local merchants to team up with Advance America to help in the fight to end homelessness in Fort Wayne by making a donation or becoming a collection drop off. if you or your company or organization are interested in helping, please contact Pam Hughes or Sabrina Goshorn at 260-484-0514 between the hours of 10am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. or e-mail

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