Gov. Hogan on cold schools: 'We don't think kids should be...freezing to death'
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - The region's freezing temperatures have led a handful of schools to be closed for weather-related issues.
Gov. Larry Hogan responded Wednesday to the wave of complaints, saying his administration has "record-funded" schools.
"We are all for making the improvements to the schools, and building new schools, which is why we have record-funded them," said Hogan during a public works board meeting. "We don't think kids should be sweating to death in un-air-conditioned schools or freezing to death."
In a statement sent later that afternoon, his office clarified: "As the governor said today, he believes that no child should be forced to endure uncomfortable or dangerous conditions in their schools. Our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education every year since taking office, including an additional $23 million on top of formula funding for Baltimore City schools last year, and has also increased school construction funding for the City each year. While individual school facility decisions are ultimately made at the city level, the governor will continue to work closely with Baltimore City leadership to provide any possible support."
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford also said in a tweet that his "administration has fully funded Baltimore City Schools for the entirety of our time in office. In fact, we provided more than the formulas called for. The money is not reaching the classroom - ask [school headquarters on] North Ave. why?"
Also on Wednesday, the Baltimore Teachers Union was calling on the city schools system to close schools that are too cold for learning.
Two candidates for the governor's seat, Ben Jealous and Sen. Richard Madaleno, criticized his response.
"It's not surprising the same Administration that once called teachers thugs, would now blame teachers and administrators for students not having the resources they need to learn," retorted Jealous in a news release. "With that kind of leadership, it's also not surprising that our schools have fallen from first in the nation to fifth. Allowing our young people to attend schools in frigid temperatures is both shameful and inhumane. Instead of spreading blame, Larry Hogan should have the courage to bring our communities together and finally fully fund our schools so that we meet our obligation to our young people."
The Maryland Democratic Party also reacted, criticizing Hogan.