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8 Schools Receive Air Conditioning Under Superintendent's Proposed Capital Budget

If the approximately $72 million budget is approved, eight county school are slated to receive funding for air conditioning, which has been a controversial topic for the school system.

School system Superintendent S. Dallas Dance is requesting air conditioning funding for eight schools in his fiscal year 2014 state capital budget proposal—a stark contrast to his predecessor.

Former Superintendent Joe Hairston from Comptroller Peter Franchot in January for not requesting any air conditioning funds for the fiscal year 2013 budget. At this point, 36 percent of county schools have classrooms without air conditioning, according to figures provided by Baltimore County.

The schools slated for air conditioning are listed in the budget, which is attached to this article.

In a in late July, Dance said that heat issues at schools are a "top, top priority."

The Board of Education is reviewing the proposal from Dance requesting about $72 million for school infrastructure.

The board is scheduled to discuss the budget, which seeks $72,275,070 for 30 school projects, at an Aug. 21 work session. The items in the budget are listed by priority order.

Other items of note include approximately $15 million renovations of both Hereford and Pikesville high schools, and funding for elementary schools in the Lutherville area—listed as the top priority— as well as the northwest corridor. 

The school board will vote on the proposal at its Sept. 4 meeting. If passed, Dance's recommendations will go before the Maryland Board of Public Works.

Tim August 16, 2012 at 03:29 AM
the key is doing it in a manner where we'll be certain the money will go where it should, and at reasonable cost. It doesn't need to be the cheapest, but reasonable.
PTAmom September 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM
When it comes down to the dollar, children are always the last in line. Always. It's sad, but that's our society. Where is air condition found in schools today? Besides the computer lab and library, it is the front office, faculty lounge--adult areas. Can you imagine accepting employment in an office building with no air conditioning? As parents we have been just as complacent about this as BCPS. We knew our kids were going to un-air conditioned buildings. We knew they were miserable. Even with the old windows and air was 'circulating', it was still a hot, miserable learning environment. Air conditioning was not a topic of conversation in BCPS until the parents of Ridgely Middle School made it one 6-7 years (?) ago. Other counties are ahead of the curve when it comes to air conditioning. Dr. Dance is listening to what our children need to move them forward. As parents, we must hold him and the Board of Education accountable to air condition ALL Baltimore County Public Schools.
Concerned Mom September 05, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I agree 100% PTAmom! Lutherville Lab reached 90 degrees again today in one of the classrooms with special needs children. I wouldn't even leave my dog in 90 degree temperatures all day long. I don't know how they get away with it. We have a group of dedicated parents at our school who are working hard to make changes but unfortunately when it comes to attending the meetings at the Board of Ed, there is a poor turnout despite a facebook group and information that is sent home to parents. The attitude that it's someone else's problem is a BIG part of the problem! The sad part is that their children won't even benefit from the air conditioning that they are fighting for because they will have moved on to another school. Until ALL parents and staff demand a healthy environment, nothing will change! What we have to endure is nothing short of cruelty and abuse!
Dee Brown September 11, 2012 at 04:28 AM
With climate change a reality then this has to take a higher priority. Why not at least get some portable cooling units in classrooms to help the situation in the mean time. As parents we're always selling something. How about we buy something that's needed. Put videos of the sweat-drenched kids (faces blocked out of course) and tell the story. If they can fund a woman's retirement with a half million dollars because mean kids made her cry. I'm pretty sure we could tug at some heart strings. ER could demand the governor and school officials spend the day in this school when it's 96 degrees outside. Pretty sure those photos won't be flattering. The tumbler meme we could start might make an ambitious O'Malley sit up & take notice. If a dog was locked in one if those classrooms they'd have first responders trying to break him out. Can't we make this a thing because it's only going to be hotter next year.
TRC September 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Dee, this might be the best idea yet! I'm serious.

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