Parents ask for long-term solutions after Milwaukee Public Schools closed early Wednesday due to heat
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Public Schools released its students early on Wednesday, Aug. 25, because of the hot weather.
A predicted 95-degree heat index is what pushed the district to make the call, according to Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley. On top of the heat, he said they're dealing with old buildings that have deferred maintenance.
HALF DAY: @MilwaukeeMPS Superintendent @DrPosleyMPS is addressing what long-term solutions are needed to keep students cool in school. 20% of schools do not have air conditioning. All schools were released early because of the 95 degree heat index. @CBS58pic.twitter.com/CVkuyk1iOP— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) August 25, 2021
Of the 142 district buildings, Posley said 24 have air conditioning throughout, 89 have air conditioning in one room or more, and 29 do not have any air conditioning.
The superintendent said it's his goal to install air conditioning in all district buildings, but it's going to take funding they don't currently have.
"We are one of those districts with aging schools that have to be addressed, and we have to find revenue to make that happen," Posley said.
The hot conditions are worrisome to some Milwaukee parents.
"I tried to find like little fans and what not for the kids, you know, just to help them cope while they're in school," Rhonika Thomas, a parent, said.
Parents tell CBS 58 they appreciate the district's attempt to keep students safe.
"Anything to make them comfortable," Sharice Nelson, a parent, said. "Heat is not a good thing. So, if that's what you guys have to decide to do, then I am totally fine with that one."
Posley said he's unaware of any students leaving school with heat stroke.
MPS says schools started at their regular times, with dismissal as follows:
- Schools that begin at 7:20 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.
- Schools that begin at 9:00 a.m. will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.
Breakfast and lunch were served, and busses were available to pick up students at early dismissal.
MPS said families that normally pick up their child from school needed to adhere to the scheduled times above.
All after-school activities, Recreation Child Care Camps, Community Learning Centers (CLCs) and Safe Places were canceled for the afternoon and evening.