BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. (WJZ) — In response to several Baltimore County Schools closed down Wednesday due to excessive heat and a lack of air conditioning- Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has set up to $16 million in matching funds for air conditioning and heating units in County schools that are currently going without.
"I come to this office, as County Executive, as being a teacher and a parent," Olszewski said. "We're proud to identify up to $16 million to meet the rest of the schools that need air conditioning in Baltimore County."
The funds will be matched by $13.4 million in state funding from the Healthy School Facility Fund, Olszewski's office said Wednesday.
He has also called on Gov. Larry Hogan to release the $127 million in school construction funding that he has withheld.
"Baltimore County is grateful for the state's partnership and is ready to invest in these solutions for our children, families, and educators. However, while we are ready to act now, our students deserve long-term solutions, not quick fixes," Olszewski said."We again call on Governor Hogan to release severely needed school construction funds so every child in every community can have the safe, nurturing learning environment they deserve."
In a statement, Gov. Hogan's spokesperson said:
"The County Executive has a funny way of saying thank you, considering that the governor provided the $30 million in funding for fixing these dire air conditioning problems. If the County Executive wants more school construction funding, he should call on the legislature to pass a school construction bill."
At least two of the schools that will get funding for AC units from the Healthy School Facility Fund- including Bedford Elementary School and Lansdowne High School- are scheduled to be torn down and replaced in the next few years, the office added.
The projects funded by Healthy School Facility and the county's matching funds are set to be completed by Spring 2021.
The schools that will get AC units are:
- Bedford Elementary School
- Catonsville Center for Alternative Studies
- Dulaney High School
- Eastern Technical High School
- Lansdowne High School
- Western School of Technology/Science
Hampton Elementary School will be getting a boiler replacement.
"This is about doing what's best for our students, and we're proud to take the steps here for the short term solution to air conditioning so again every school will be air conditioned."
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