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State Republicans Press Lamont Administration To Release Air Quality In Schools Data

Gov. Ned Lamont
Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public

State Republican leaders are calling on Gov. Ned Lamont’s office to release survey results surrounding air quality and ventilation in schools. This comes a week after Connecticut Public’s Accountability Project revealed that the Lamont Administration is withholding the survey results.

Somewhere in the governor’s office is a database full of survey results about air quality and ventilation in Connecticut schools. It’s data that could shed light on how HVAC systems are holding up and if educators believe there are contaminants in their classrooms.

State Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly says that in the age of COVID, the data is more important than ever.

“You would think that we would follow the science, the data and the metrics when it came to kids in classrooms,” said Kelly, a Republican. “That’s why you know, the withholding of this information, I find a little bit ironic.”

But the Lamont administration is not releasing that data just yet. Connecticut Public has been asking for it since early August. A spokesman for the governor’s office previously said officials won’t release the data until a final report is completed, but he wouldn’t say when that might be.

Kelly says it is common sense that school buildings naturally have wear and tear and that some HVAC systems may need replacing, but lawmakers can’t figure out which systems need upgrades until they get the data.

“When can we get it?” questioned Kelly. “The open-ended ‘well, I can’t give it to you now and I really don’t know when I will give it to you’ isn’t really a sufficient answer. I think government can do better than that.”

Connecticut Public reached out to the governor’s office for comment but did not hear back by deadline.

Walter Smith Randolph is the Investigative Editor and Director of The Accountability Project at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. The New York City native comes to CT Public after a decade of reporting at local tv stations across the country.