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Fix schools now, worry about blame later

The Baltimore Teachers Union is urging the city to close down all schools until officials get a handle on heating problems that have already closed some buildings and left children shivering in others. (Kim Hairston, Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

Students and teachers should not have to work in classrooms that are 30 or 40 degrees, as some were in Baltimore on Wednesday (“8 Baltimore City schools closed Monday as new heat, facility problems develop after weekend repairs,” Jan. 8). If the schools need to stay open to provide meals and child care, then the administrators should acknowledge that no academic growth is going to occur in a classroom where the students have to concentrate on just staying warm.

It is important to note Baltimore is not the only county experiencing problems. On Tuesday, Bethesda Magazine reported that Montgomery County had multiple schools dealing with heating and piping issues. Maryland needs to provide funding to maintain schools and, in the meantime, students should not be required to attend class in such harsh conditions. Former NAACP President (and gubernatorial candidate) Ben Jealous had a point when he suggested the politicians debate the funding for repairs in the freezing schools. Perhaps the politicians and students can switch environments for a day; that way the kids have a suitable learning environment and the politicians can physically deal with the problem.

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Gov. Larry Hogan emphasizes the state money for funding new school buildings — a great mission, but these kids need a safe place to go to school now, so current issues must be fixed.

Lillian Elliott, Laurel

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