BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In these cold temperatures broken heating symptoms again closed several Baltimore City schools Tuesday, angering parents.
The head of city schools has promised better communication and monitoring of classroom temperatures.
Students got out before noon today. Many say they were wearing coats and hats in the classroom. It comes as the governor is touting record levels of spending on education in his new budget.
Heating problems at two Baltimore City schools left students in the cold again. City Springs and Lakewood Elementary dismissed early.
“Super icy cold,” said one elementary student when describing the conditions. “Everybody was shivering.”
“It felt like an iceberg,” said another student.
“I’m very angry,” said Deborah Taylor, a parent.
Parents were hot under the collar.
“This has been going on, what, a little too long and it’s ridiculous and City Springs really needs some help and you keep sending them home every day,” Taylor said. “Get it fixed.”
The CEO of City schools, Dr. Sonja Santelises, told WJZ there would be quick action, if the heat breaks, after facing angry parents who complained too little was done in the past.
“Young people will not be left in those conditions,” said Santelises. “And we will have better reporting.”
The governor is touting the new budget providing, he says, the most money for school construction in a decade.
“In this budget, we put a record $6.5 billion into k-12 education,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “Which is above and beyond spending formulas proposed by the legislature.”
Shanita Hayes is a substitute teacher.
“How do you teach?” asked the reporter.
“It’s very uncomfortable,” said Hayes. “Sometimes you take off your sweaters and give to children, the layers that you have and you try to make them comfortable. But they don’t want to focus when they are uncomfortable.”
One school that did stay open this time was Calverton in West Baltimore. Tuesday was only the second full day of classes for students there this year.
“They are going there to learn and they don’t need to be freezing,” said one parent. “And it’s upsetting because they fixed all of the County schools and stuff up, they can fix the City schools up too.”
Some high school students, including at Poly, they say their classrooms remain cold.
There has been a grass roots effort led by art teacher and NFL linebacker, Aaron Maybin to collect space heaters and winter clothing and more than $80,000 has been raised online.