Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hogan and Franchot take an 'astonishing' step

The obsession with window air conditioning in Baltimore county and city public schools by Comptroller Peter Franchot, joined of late by Gov. Larry Hogan, is no longer amusing. On Wednesday, their heavy-handed tactics to force local officials to immediately install window units in some 4,000 classrooms went beyond political grandstanding into the realm of doing real damage to students and to a system of making hard choices on how to allocate limited funds that has long served the state well. The governor and comptroller decided to hold back $10 million to renovate county schools and $5 million for city schools unless city and county officials do something that is probably impossible, possibly illegal and certainly fiscally wasteful. In the process, they disrespected the Baltimore County superintendent, smeared the integrity of the attorney general and his staff, bullied the treasurer and prompted the man who has guided the state's school construction program for 13 years to resign. It was ugly, unbecoming and ultimately unproductive...

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