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Debate Sparks Over Funding For Air Conditioning In Some Baltimore County Public Schools

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- A debate has heated up over air conditioning in Baltimore County Public Schools between Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Gov. Larry Hogan.

It was so hot Wednesday that hundreds of students in Baltimore County missed classes because their schools still do not have any air conditioning.

This sparked a heated debate between Olszewski and Gov. Hogan.

Olszewski announced Wednesday that the County will provide about $16 million in funding for air conditioning for schools. That funding will be matched with about $13.4 million in state funding.

Olszewski said that it's only for a short-term solution, and called on Gov. Hogan to release $127 million in state construction funding that he said was being withheld.

"These will be short-term air conditioning fixes, even as we're coming after long term solutions, which is why in addition to identifying the up to $16 million dollars locally, we continue to call on Gov. Hogan to release the $127 million dollars that is literally sitting on his desk," Olszewski said.

In response, Gov. Hogan's spokesperson said Wednesday, "If the County Executive wants more school construction funding, he should call on the legislature to pass a school construction bill."

Gov. Hogan fired back Thursday and said that the state already provided $30 million for fixing the air conditioning issues. He also said Olszewski did not support their school construction plan because he wanted the state to pay for 100 percent of the construction costs.

Hogan also said Thursday that Olszewski needs to get on board with the state's plan.

"I would urge him to get on board with supporting our school construction plans," Hogan said. "Say thank you for the $30 million and fix the damn air conditioning."

The County Executive's office released a statement in response to the governor's comments, saying, in part:

"The County Executive publicly committed to funding the County's match in order to get the job done for students, educators, and families."

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