As freezing temperatures engulf much of the East Coast, public schools in Baltimore, Maryland have been forced to close over a lack of resources to properly heat the buildings.
Baltimore city schools CEO Sonja Santelises said this weekend that people in power have known that this was coming,
“The day of reckoning has come. We all knew. State knew. District knew. City knew. We’ve had numerous reports that have talked about the age of the buildings…We, frankly, had the blessing of really warm winters. But now, under pressure of extended cold, the chickens are coming home to roost.”
The actual structure of the buildings is the cause of this particular issue, but there are obviously larger root causes in Baltimore that have led to this point.
— Kwame Rose (@kwamerose) January 3, 2018
Years of economic depression in a once-vital city of industry, decades of white flight, and general urban neglect, all colored by antagonistic relationship between the (largely Democratic) city legislator and the (largely GOP) state government that hinders any progress.
BREAKING: The parents at my kid's Baltimore public school raised their own money to keep the school librarian. https://t.co/lZVMwk3nh3
— David Simon (@AoDespair) January 7, 2018
The Wire creator David Simon pointed out that Maryland is the most affluent state in the United States and its public education system is the third best in the country, yet Baltimore’s school systems are dangerously cash-strapped.
So cash-strapped, in fact, that they can’t heat classrooms.
..tax base began to collapse in 1955, when whites fled the city for the surrounding county in abject racial fear and where deindustrialization then battered the working class that remained 1970-2000. And 2) that formula is insufficient to keep funding for Baltimore….
— David Simon (@AoDespair) January 8, 2018
Today, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, granted the Baltimore school district $2.5 million in state funds while proposing an “inspector general” to investigate “corruption” in the Baltimore school district.
“Let me be clear, this is not to reward the people who are responsible, who have failed. This funding is literally about saving kids from freezing in winter and from sweating and being hospitalized during warm weather. No child in the state of Maryland should ever have to suffer because of the failures of the responsible adult leaders, who have repeatedly failed them over, and over, and over again.”
It’s not a good sign when the governor feels the need to politicize paying for heating in Baltimore schools.
We’re literally at the point that the richest country in the history of the world has to start GoFundMe‘s in order to heat public schools. Late capitalism is undefeated.