Baltimore teachers call for donated fans, district resists

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's teacher union is calling for fans to be donated as classrooms are expected to reach sweltering temperatures when students return next month, but the district says electrical infrastructure may not be equipped to handle it.

About a third of public school buildings in the city lack air-conditioning. Union President Diamonté Brown tells The Associated Press the organization hopes to hand out 500 pedestal fans.

But Baltimore City Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Lynette Washington says some buildings can't withstand several fans plugged in.

The union is pushing back. Brown says the district should fix the electrical infrastructure, adding that it is "disheartening" to see a building can't handle 10-20 fans running.

The Baltimore Sun reports the district has an almost $3 billion maintenance backlog from decades of underfunding.