Baltimore Closed Schools Due To Sweltering Classrooms

BALTIMORE (June 8, 2021) — Students at nearly three dozen Baltimore public schools without air conditioning are learning virtually for a second day Tuesday amid sweltering temperatures. Baltimore publich 

News outlets reported that about 30 city schools listed on the school district website sent students home around 10:30 a.m. on Monday to transition to virtual learning while staff also transitioned to teaching from home. Officials said several Baltimore City schools had air conditioning systems that were not working properly. For the 2021 school year, there are 171 public schools serving 80,415 students in Baltimore City School District. 

“Minority enrollment is 92% of the student body (majority Black), which is more than the Maryland public school average of 63% (majority Black).”  The demographics:

% Black Students 79% 34%
# of White Students 6,418 Students 334,045 Students
% White Students 8% 37%
# of Hawaiian Students 163 Students 1,301 Students

“Public schools in Baltimore City School District have an average math proficiency score of 18% (versus the Maryland public school average of 41%), and reading proficiency score of 17% (versus the 41% statewide average). This district’s average testing ranking is 1/10, which is in the bottom 50% of public schools in Maryland.”

In  Baltimore County, six public schools also closed three hours early Monday due to a lack of air conditioning, and afternoon and evening activities also were canceled. County school buildings have air conditioning systems, but experienced a variety of mechanical problems that prevented them from operating as they should. Two of the schools also closed because of power outages, spokesman Charles Herndon said in an email. Two schools remained virtual on Tuesday.

Sweltering classrooms are a perennial problem in Baltimore, which has some of the state’s oldest school buildings. Some educators used social media to document the high temperatures in the classrooms as students focus on final exams.

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