Parents Call For Portable AC Units For Baltimore County Schools

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Parents passed out band-aids outside the Baltimore County Government offices Tuesday morning.

They say they need portable air conditioners as a band-aid solution in the 37 county schools with no form of AC.

Due to the county’s new policy, which requires schools to shut their doors if the heat index goes above 90 degrees for any part of the day, those 37 schools have already been closed for two of this year’s five school days.

Tonight, the school board is expected to revise that policy.

Some believe it will result in the loss of too many school days while others are worried the policy could be weakened too much.

Yesterday, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz told WJZ he’ll leave the closure policy up to the board, but he says portable air conditioners would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, that many schools have wiring that can’t handle them, and that he’s working toward the long-term solution of installing central air in schools.

Most but not all Baltimore County schools are expected to have air conditioning by 2017.

Some parents are still insisting the schools need a stop gap.

“…these children are suffering so much, they’re suffering,” mom Vanessa Bennett told WJZ. “And they need this portable AC to learn.”

“There’s no way in the world they’re going to just go back to not having any kind of heat closure policy,” Lily Rowe told WJZ. “And there’s no way that the advocates for these schools are going to tolerate a watered down policy, because even today’s a day that schools didn’t close, but the classrooms are 90 degrees.”

Lily Li said the humidity created an “unhealthy situation” that’s “not acceptable to any mom.”

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