Getting Real About Kevin Kamenetz

Boy, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz sure is trying to take a victory lap on air conditioning in Baltimore County schools:

Plans by Baltimore County to speed the installation of air conditioning at public schools got a boost from a key state panel on Thursday.

The state’s Interagency Commission on School Construction voted unanimously to award a waiver to the county that will keep the plan on track.

“We are pleased they have the confidence in our plan,” County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said Thursday. “We can start the planning process now.”

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It’s comical when you actually remember the real story of how we got here. Kamenetz is taking credit for a plan he was forced to do because Governor Larry Hogan was tired of Kamenetz dragging his feet and forcing students and teachers to go to schools without air conditioning in dangerous heat and humidity. Even then, we only got here after:

  • Kamenetez proposed several different iterations of an initial plan from Kamenetz that would have required advancing half of the state’s school construction budget. Kamenetz’s original plan would have taken money from all of Maryland’s other counties and directed it to fixing a problem that Kamenez could have, but did not, fix on his own;
  • The Board of Public Works withheld funds from Baltimore County schools based on Kamenetz’s failure to get air conditioning in schools;
  • Baltimore County School have been closed four times this year, with lost instructional time for all students and with a disproportionate affect and less affluent and more disadvantaged students
  • And children have beensickened by being forced to go to class in hot, steamy classrooms

And yet Kamenetez is now taking credit for being forced into a modest plan that is years away from providing complete equitable relief for county students.

Instead of taking a victory lap, Kevin Kamnetz should be ashamed of himself. Ashamed of his decisions that led to students and teachers being forced into unsafe hot and humid conditions, and ashamed of himself that by his failure to lead Baltimore County students have not received the proper education that they are entitled to under the state constitution. The only reason that this issue is even being resolved is because Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot held Kamenetz’s feet to the fire and got something done for the students and teachers of Baltimore County.

Instead of doing a victory lap, Kevin Kamenetz should be thanking Governor Hogan for being the leader and getting the things done that he could not.

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