Last year, I wrote about how Baltimore’s schools lacked heating after the systems failed during a cold snap.
Problems at these schools haven’t gotten any better, with teachers forced to crowdfund to purchase fans to keep the students cool during the summer:
This summer, the Baltimore Teachers Union is trying to get ahead of the problem by raising money and collecting donated fans for classrooms where temperatures can sometimes exceed 100-degrees.
But plugging in too many of those fans could put the aging electrical systems in many of the city’s schools at risk, administrators say.
“Our biggest concern is the electrical load,” Chief Operations Officer Lynette Washington said. “We don’t have the infrastructure for a number of things to be plugged in.”
It’s not the first time people have sought donations for do-it-yourself fixes to structural issues in Baltimore school buildings. In the winter of 2017—after photos went viral showing students wearing coats and mittens in frigid classrooms—a Coppin State student started a GoFundMe page that quickly raised more than $80,000 to purchase heaters and other resources for city school kids.
But both then and now, these fundraisers sparked some concern at district headquarters about the impact the devices could have on electrical systems.
BTU president Diamonté Brown said it’s up to the union to ensure teachers and students are able to focus on the schoolwork, rather than the sweaty conditions advocates believe would never be tolerated in wealthier school systems.
Baltimore schools are among the most lavishly funded in the nation. Where is the money going?