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Over the past couple of days, the weather in the Baltimore area has been extremely cold. It’s been cold enough that schools should have been closed, but as social media has pointed out, there have been many schools in Baltimore city that have remained open without adequate heat for the students and staff.
There are images floating around of students sitting in classes bundled up trying to learn.
Due to the power of social media, many athletes, artists and others who have a connection to Baltimore have begun working on a solution for this. One of the main people to look at for this situation is City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises.
She has acknowledged that the extreme cold is “unprecedented.”
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One-third of the schools in the district have complained about there not being adequate heat in the schools. At one point, the schools remained open. After taking time to evaluate the complaints coming from the schools, she took to FB live to address the concerns.
“We don’t normally close just because it is a cold day. But we also understand, and I hear people, that this is sustained cold. And nobody in this city, including me, wants folks sitting around in coats and in mittens all day for the entire day.”
Following her address, the school system sent out a statement.
“Our primary concern is always the well-being of our students. This includes not only providing safe, supportive school environments, but also ensuring that students are not denied opportunities for teaching and learning and providing wrap-around services to support students and families. However, too many of our buildings have outdated heating systems, poor insulation, and aging pipes as a result of years of inadequate funding for maintenance and facilities improvements.”
“We will continue to close schools when conditions inside buildings are unsafe or unhealthy, or when weather outside makes travel to and from school unsafe for students and staff. We are monitoring conditions in all schools closely and are receiving regular updates on the weather forecast, which now includes an increased likelihood for snow tomorrow. Announcements about school closures or delays will be made as soon as possible.”
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According to Governor Hogan, his administration has “record-funded” schools. ” In a Public Works board meeting, he added, “We are all for making the improvements to the schools, and building new schools, which is why we have record-funded them. We don’t think kids should be sweating to death in un-air-conditioned schools or freezing to death.”
His office later clarified his statements.
“As the governor said today, he believes that no child should be forced to endure uncomfortable or dangerous conditions in their schools. Our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education every year since taking office, including an additional $23 million on top of formula funding for Baltimore City schools last year, and has also increased school construction funding for the City each year. While individual school facility decisions are ultimately made at the city level, the governor will continue to work closely with Baltimore City leadership to provide any possible support.”
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford even chimed in on Twitter saying, “Our Administration has fully funded Baltimore City Schools for the entirety of our time in office. In fact, we provided more than the formulas called for. The money is not reaching the classroom–ask North Ave. Why?”
I think that is a very good question. Why isn’t the money reaching the classroom?!
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SOURCE: Fox Baltimore