Governor Larry Hogan today announced the state will spend $2.5 million in discretionary funding from the state’s Catastrophic Event Account to support emergency repairs to heating and cooling system in Baltimore City Schools. The Maryland Department of General Services will oversee how the money is spent.
Governor Hogan also proposed legislation that would require the Maryland State Department of Education to employ an independent investigator appointed by a commission including the governor, state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch.
According to The Baltimore Sun,
The appointed investigator, which would need the General Assembly’s endorsement, would have subpoena power, the authority to summon people to public hearings and a bully pulpit to shame local school systems.
In response to the governor’s announcement, Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh released the following statement:
I applaud and thank Governor Larry Hogan for this additional allocation of $2.5 million from the State’s emergency discretionary fund to help us ensure that our schools are heated sufficiently and provide the environment worthy of our young people. They, who represent our future, deserve and require only the very best environment in which to learn, interact and develop their potential.
The circumstances of the past few days have revealed a woeful lack of attention over many years to dealing with the infrastructure issues that required the Baltimore City Public School System to close schools due to frigid temperatures. We can and must do better by our children while at the same time being fully transparent about how taxpayer dollars are being spent to provide our children the very best path to success.
Hogan also announced he will propose a bill to change the schools-accountability plan the General Assembly approved over his objections last year.
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