The well-being and safety of our children is the priority #1. The social and economic future of Baltimore City depends on a high-quality, well-run education system. It is unacceptable that Baltimore City Public School facilities cannot maintain adequate and safe temperatures during the school day. Our children deserve world-class education in high-quality facilities.
The Baltimore Green Party would like to salute all of the students, teachers and families who have persevered, despite grossly inadequate facilities. We would like to the thank all of the advocates, many of those same teachers, students, and families, as well as the public at large, who raised their voices, raised hell and demanded an end to the madness. Children SHALL NOT go to school in 30 and 40 degree classrooms. Therefore, we support the demands of BMORE that schools be closed if relocation options are unavailable for classrooms colder than 60 degrees. We encourage everyone to read BMORE's 4 demands and sign on. In addition, we want to chart a new path forward.
We urge immediate steps that would begin a comprehensive, green transformation of BCPSS facilities.
Baltimore needs to upgrade and replace existing heating systems and should do this in the most economical, technologically-current and environmentally-proactive way. This transformation will ensure that classrooms are maintained at comfortable temperatures throughout the year, and will improve efficiency, reduce costs and lower our carbon footprint.
Even prior to 2018, funding sources existed for cost and carbon-saving projects. The Maryland Energy Administration has up to $2 million available for projects in Baltimore that build CHP Systems: Combined Heat and Power. These systems provide both heat and electricity, but can also be used to drive air conditioning systems, and are easily integrated with renewable technologies, such as solar photovoltaic cells. In addition, they can run independent of the power grid, and will turn our schools into emergency shelters, warming and cooling centers, during times of need. Let Baltimore be a leader in technological innovation. The right plans can do this.
Today, the Baltimore Green Party calls on all interested parties, at all levels of government and administration to act strategically, responsibly and immediately. We call on officials to develop new, transformative plans and to put them into action before the next budget cycle. Our students deserve a comfortable, positive and welcoming environment in the schools.
We recognize that adequate facilities are but one facet of a healthy school system. We are ready and willing to work with system leaders on these and other plans that will make our schools into world-class institutions. If the current school board and administration leadership are not willing to put Baltimore City Schools on a radically new path, they should step down and be replaced with the visionary, accountable, disciplined leadership that Baltimore needs, and our children deserve.
The Green Party is a bottom-up, solutions-based political party that unites around issues of justice, and 10 Key Values, including Ecological Wisdom and Global Responsibility. We are going to build, organize and GOVERN. We won't stop until we have fully realized the just society that we all want and deserve.