Governor Hogan signed the 2016 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act into law.
Larry Hogan

The simmering dispute over air conditioning in schools boiled over on Wednesday in Annapolis.

In his role with the state’s Board of Public Works, Gov. Larry Hogan denied construction funding for Baltimore City and County schools. Before providing the funding, Hogan said he wants to see plans for schools to use window-box air condition units. Some schools in the two districts currently lack proper air conditioning, and Hogan is putting pressure on the schools for a short-term fix.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat who has been vocal about the lack of air conditioning in schools, joined Hogan in voting to withhold the funding.

But the move did not unite the party. According to the Baltimore Sun, the state’s top school construction official resigned over the decision. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was “disappointed” with the move.

“Although the issue of air conditioning and our children’s comfort is obviously important and we’re working to find solutions to ensure they have a healthy and productive environment for learning, she believes it would have been a more productive use of the board’s energy to spend time identifying ways to increase funding for our public schools and to support student achievement,” a Rawlings-Blake spokesman said.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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