AC-less public schools in Baltimore City again dismissing early

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Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Photo by Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

For the third time in as many weeks, dozens of city schools without air conditioning are letting out early today due to the hot weather.

Baltimore City Public Schools announced a three-hour-early dismissal for some schools shortly after 10:30 a.m. A list on the school system’s website includes 49 elementary, middle and high schools. The Baltimore City Collegiate School for Boys is also dismissing three hours early, per a separate notice.

Temperatures are forecast to reach the low 90s today. Today is forecast to be the hottest day of the week, though Thursday could also reach the upper 80s, per the National Weather Service.

Dozens of city schools dismissed early on Sept. 4, the second day of the school year, and again on Sept. 12.

Baltimore schools have a maintenance backlog of nearly $3 billion, including needed installation or replacement of AC units, which the school system said is due to decades of under-funding.

The state has been chipping away at the problem little by little. Nearly two weeks ago, the Interagency Committee on School Construction approved a new disbursement for AC replacements in city and Baltimore County schools.

Five schools on that list–Booker T. Washington Middle/High School, Dickey Hill Elementary/Middle, Edgecombe Circle Elementary, Edgewood Elementary School and Mount Royal Elementary/Middle–are due for $9 million in combined funding for new air conditioning units in every classroom, CBS Baltimore reported.

Teachers campaigned last month to bring fans to classrooms as a stopgap, but the school district pushed back, saying buildings’ electrical infrastructure wouldn’t be able to withstand all of the extra appliances.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
Ethan McLeod
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