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HVAC Or Schools? Baltimore Leaders At Odds Over Budget Surplus Spending On City Schools

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Top city leaders are both in agreement and at odds over what should be done with Baltimore's surplus dollars.

There's a projected surplus of $34 million, and the mayor and council president agree the money should go to the school system, but for different purposes.

Council President Brandon Scott would take around 20 million of that for capital improvements to heating and cooling systems.

"It's very clear to me that we have to make sure that all our students have heat and air conditioning we can do that right now with this budget surplus," Scott said.

Mayor Jack Young wants to use the money for schools but for curriculum improvements recommended by the Kirwan Commission on Education.

"We owe it to our children to give them the best possible education that we can give them," Young said. "And whatever it takes, whatever the state and the Kirwan funding mandates we do, we're going to get it done. We're going to do it."

Scott said it doesn't have to be an either-or.

"At the same time we cannot say we want children to go to 21st century funded schools and not have heating and air. We have to do both." Scott said.

There is a hearing next week to update the city's finances for Kirwan.

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