TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County leaders are blasted over lack of air conditioning in schools. Now the governor and the state comptroller are even threatening to cut off funding–if that’s what it takes to get the problem fixed.
Rick Ritter with the governor’s new comments.
More than 50 schools are still without air conditioning. Governor Hogan vows something will be done.
Just weeks into the new school year, and already twice hot temperatures have forced Baltimore County to close schools two hours early.
“It’s absolutely outrageous and disgraceful,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
The problem — 51 of the schools are without air conditioning. The dilemma has Governor Larry Hogan both disgusted and determined, speaking out at the Orioles game Wednesday night.
“If we have to cut off funding, if we have to play hardball, we’re going to make sure that Baltimore County takes the steps necessary to make sure these kids can learn in an environment where they’re not sweating to death,” the governor said.
Governor Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot continued to blast criticism at Baltimore County school leaders and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz during the Board of Public Works meeting.
“It will change–whether we have to do it the easy way or the hard way,” said Franchot.
Franchot says the county should have installed portable window air conditioning units with some of the $27 million the county schools get from the state.
“It’s not safe for the kids,” one parent said.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says the school system’s long-term plan has already dramatically reduced the number of schools without air conditioning, and they have plans for more, calling on the state for a quicker resolution.
“If Governor Hogan and Comptroller Franchot truly want to help us resolve this issue in an even more timely basis, please, please help us get more state funding,” said Kamenetz.
The governor says he expects the issue to be discussed at the next Board of Public Works meeting on October 7.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz extended an invitation to Governor Hogan to tour county schools and talk about the air conditioning issue in person.