BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is calling on Mayor Jack Young to commit a recently revealed $34 million city budget surplus to heat and air conditioning in Baltimore City Schools.
He sent a request in a letter sent to the Mayor’s office earlier Wednesday morning.
“I write today concerning our shared commitment to providing adequate funding for Baltimore’s schools and their infrastructure. In preparation for the impending winter, we must work to ensure our young people do not miss instructional time due to a lack of adequate heat in their school building,” Scott wrote.
60 percent of school buildings in the city lack air conditioning, according to Baltimore City Schools data, and over the last month alone 49 schools had to be closed for the day due to high temperatures.
The City Council learned at our Quarterly Budget Briefing that Baltimore faces a projected budget surplus of $34 million this fiscal year. This morning, I sent this letter to the Mayor requesting the surplus be committed to Baltimore City Schools, specifically for heat and AC. pic.twitter.com/HjuBmHq1bx
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) October 16, 2019
“Given the acute nature of the need, I urge you to assign this anticipated $34 million surplus to Baltimore City Public Schools as an initial contribution toward BCPSS’s Air-Conditioning Plan,” Scott said, “I understand this amount is unaudited and may decrease, and that this contribution would only supplement, and not supplant, the City’s normal contribution.”
The estimate of the total cost of installing what City Schools deems “adequate” heating and air conditioning is between $54,120,000 to $67,650,000, and the surplus would account for more than half of that amount, Scott’s office claimed in a release Wednesday.