One Md. School Will Be Cool This Summer; Getting A/C

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s been a break in the heated argument between the city and the state over air conditioning in city schools.

As WJZ’s Pat Warren reports, school just got cool for students at Frederick Douglass High.

On cold winter days, it’s hard to imagine needing AC, but in the summer, buildings without climate control can become 90-degree hot boxes.

One teacher told WJZ that she has special outfits for the very beginning and very end of the school years, when it’s warm.

A parent said her child was told to bring water to class because of the heat.

And it’s nothing new — students and staff have been sweating it out in city schools for decades.

So the news that Frederick Douglass High will get new air conditioners is a relief for many.

Installing AC has been a conflict between the state and city governments. The city had argued that window units were not a cost-effective use of school dollars.

“We dole out hundreds of of millions of dollars to the local governments and they seem to be unresponsive to our concerns about the welfare of some of their students,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in September.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot championed the cause, and says Mayor Catherine Pugh helped end the gridlock on the issue.

“We needed a breath of fresh air,” Franchot said. “Some people got so locked into their mindset that ‘We’re not going to let the state tell us what to do here.’ Well, it’s the right thing to do and frankly, that’s why I praise Mayor Pugh.”

The air will be on when the kids come back in September.

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