BALTIMORE (WJZ) – WJZ reported two weeks ago at the start of school, there were 31 schools with early layoffs. That number: up to 27 today as the district continues to repair and improve.
The closing bell arrived early for Benjamin Franklin High School again on Monday.
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“Period two and period six are hot,” says Alicia Adams, a college student.
Alicia Adams’ mom juggled school and doctor’s appointments.
“It’s been a persistent problem for so long, it’s not even healthy to have their rooms warm with the spread of COVID like it is,” said Rachel Strozykowski, a relative.
“It’s a distraction, they can’t work,” said Joel Greenidge, another parent. “There’s not much they can do. “
The school district has been gradually upgrading buildings since the state approved a plan in 2017.
“This is the first time in all of his schooling that we have attended a school without air conditioning,” Strozykowski said.
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“Year after year, it’s the same nonsense. I always hear the same thing, ”said Greenidge.
The mayor says it’s not as easy as air conditioners.
“For example, City College isn’t a place where you can just plug in air conditioning units when you’re talking about a castle built hundreds of years ago,” Mayor Scott said.
“Why didn’t they take care of this,” Greenidge asked. “For me, this is one of the most basic needs.
“It’s an aggressive pace when you think about the way capital projects are done,” added Mayor Scott.
Schools in the city say they are on track to meet the state’s goal of upgrading all schools to air conditioning by the next school year. In a statement, a spokesperson said, in part, that the district “reduced the number of schools without air conditioning from 75 schools in 2017 to 21 schools last month.”
This represents 54 more schools equipped with air conditioning since the plan was approved four years ago, as well as the necessary upgrades to electrical systems and windows.
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During the past two weeks, repairs have been completed at Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary, Baltimore International Academy West, Connexions and Southwest Baltimore Charter.