The 41st District has been hit hardest out of any District in the city by school and recreation center closures. We cannot continue to allow budget cuts to fall on our children. Instead, we need to work at the state level to ensure that every Baltimore community has the education funding it needs to repair its local schools if possible, or rebuild if repairs are beyond reach. Locally, we need to make sure that our schools become centerpieces of the community once again, providing wrap-around services to students, from tutoring to physical education and mental health resources. By making sure that all of our students have the educational and community resources they need, we can halt poverty at its roots and propel students to success regardless of their zip code or household income.
School Funding and the Kirwan Commission
The Kirwan Commission is the opportunity of a lifetime to get a fair shake for our students. We must fix the funding formula to acknowledge concentrated poverty, provide more funding for community schools, and raise teachers’ pay. The excessive reliance on local property taxes perpetuates poverty by locking children from low-income families into underfunded schools while channeling the children of wealthier parents into newer, better funded schools with greater resources. There is no way public education can achieve its goals of educating all children in our city if its funding scheme is so broken. Following recommendations from Kirwan, we can update our school funding scheme for the 21st century, and at long last ensure that adequate funds are sent to schools with the highest concentrations of poverty to ensure the success of students with the greatest need.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Historically Black Colleges and Universities are an integral part of our state's system of higher education and it is time they were respected as such. Our state's HBCUs need and deserve the $1bn they are owed. Just as importantly, these treasured and historic institutions should be funded equitably in the long term, so that they can focus on the important duty of educating the next generation of innovators and leaders rather than wasting their time suing for basic dignity and respect.