BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A battle over air conditioning in Maryland public schools pits two political rivals against each other.
“We all know has been a serious problem for them because they have 37 unairconditioned schools,” said Governor Larry Hogan, during an announcement in Ocean City on Wedneday that next year schools would start after Labor Day.
“Governor Hogan’s my way or the highway approach really is not the best way to govern,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
The two politicians have been trading verbal jabs for months.
Kamenetz touts accelerated school improvements, saying 90 schools were unairconditioned when he took office. That number is currently 37. It will be down to 11 next year.
By 2019 the entire school district will have air, the county official says.
“The facts speak for themselves and I’ll just let others do their political thing,” said Kamenetz.
Hogan takes another shot as he mandates a later start to the school year on Wednesday.
“A later start date will even prevent Baltimore County–which has unfortunately failed to air condition its schools–from losing so many days of school,” said Hogan.
The battle intensified back in May when the governor voted to withhold school construction funds unless all classrooms were air conditioned by the beginning of this school year.
“This situation, especially in Baltimore County was disgraceful and completely unacceptable,” Hogan said.
“We’re certainly not going to be bullied by the governor into somehow giving in to his really what I think is an irresponsible demand,” said the county executive.
And with speculation that Kamenetz could try to unseat Hogan in 2018, the jabs may keep coming.
Kamenetz has not officially announced if he plans to run for governor.
The air conditioning fight has led to the resignation of the state’s top school construction official.