Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Heat will keep 10 Baltimore Co. schools closed Tues.

Baltimore County Public Schools announced on Twitter just after 5 PM Monday that it would keep 10 schools closed on Tuesday, scheduled to be the first day of classes for the new school year, given the excessive heat and the lack of air conditioning in those buildings.

Groundbreaking at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, October 2017 (school via Twitter)

The school board in Baltimore County, one of the nation’s 30 largest school districts, will be conducting actual elections this year for several seats on the board. Prior to this year, all board members were appointed by the governor. The issue of over-heated buildings that lack air conditioning was a political hot potato in Baltimore County, with Gov Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot criticizing the late Kevin Kamenetz, the former county executive who died in May, over his handling of the issue.

Hot school buildings are likely to be a key focal point for voters in the upcoming board elections, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.

“Parents do get annoyed when [schools] get closed because it brings up the question of why us,” the paper quoted Matt Gresick, a board candidate whose district includes Lansdowne and Woodlawn high schools, as saying. “There needs to be a solution. Hopefully this can be resolved soon. It’s a burden on the community.”

Voxitatis reported in July on the most current research regarding the effect a lack of air conditioning has on student learning. With that published report in mind, we echo Mr Gresick’s hope that the issue can be resolved soon in Baltimore County.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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