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Fox 45: Gov. Hogan & state comptroller call Baltimore's cold schools 'inhumane' (VID

Video available at http://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/baltimore-city-school-officials-criticized-for-faulty-heating-systems

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) -- Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and State Comptroller Peter Franchot again criticized Baltimore City school administrators for allowing students at dozens of schools to sit in cold classrooms during the recent cold snap.

Several schools were shut down while repairs were made to faulty heating systems in early January.

During Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting in Annapolis, Franchot said: "All children, regardless of their zip codes or economic status, are entitled to cool classrooms in the warmer months and warm classrooms in the cooler months. I will accept no excuse, none whatsoever that our students cannot have both."

Franchot also called the problem of cold classrooms "inhumane."

Hogan recently appropriated $2.5 million in emergency state funds to help accelerate repairs with broken heating systems in Baltimore public schools.

The governor said: "The students were subjected to frigid temperatures in classrooms that were not heated...and this is unacceptable for thousands of children."

"Despite the huge increases in state budgeting and funding, budget data from the city school system shows that they're slashing spending on maintenance by 27 percent."

Franchot says "It has never been about resources, it has never been about money. It has been a matter of misguided priorities and bureaucratic inertia that has justifiably frustrated parents, teachers and students.

On Monday, hundreds of angry parents attended a town hall meeting at Baltimore's Dunbar High School to vent their frustrations over the lack of heating at many city schools.

During the meeting, Baltimore Schools CEO Sonja Saltelises told the crowd the system would adopt new protocols to monitor the condition of classrooms.

She said custodians will use thermometers to check the temperature in classrooms, and if the temperature is cooler than 60 degrees, schools will not open.

City school officials say they have identified the problems with heating units at nearly 60 schools and they are taking steps to make repairs as quickly as possible.

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