Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

GHCC and Baltimore Education Coalition Bring it to Annapolis

“Guilford first received a portable for our middle school, which was supposed to be a temporary facility, in 1971. We’re here, 41 years later, and things are the same.”

Guilford teacher Ted Smith testified to the poor conditions of his school in Annapolis on Monday, March 5, 2012, where  136 participants from the 43rd District on behalf of the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) to protect Baltimore City public school funding. Greater Homewood Community Corporation worked with Child First Authority and Waverly School activist Joan Stanne to organize this empowering BEC District 43 Night.

Students, teachers and community members traveled from Baltimore City to Annapolis to urge lawmakers to support bills vital for school funding. City College student N’della Seck, Barclay 8th grader Devon Edwards, and Northwood grandparent Benjamin Dubose also described dilapidated school buildings with crumbling ceilings and toxic water pipes.

“If you want to provide an education that produces scholars that can compete, then why not give us facilities that are conducive to that level of scholarship?” Smith said. “More funding needs to be on the front end rather than the back end.”
 
BEC advocates for Transform Baltimore, a campaign to renovate and modernize all Baltimore City public schools in poor conditions. To address the $2.8 billion need for school construction, the BEC is fighting to pass HB304/SB533, which would allow flexible use of existing school construction dollars to be leveraged in a way to enable large scale school renovations to solve the desperate facilities need.

Delegate Mary Washington publicly pledged to preserve the 1% Inflation Factor for school funding in the state budget, and wealth-equalize the proposed teacher pension shift to the City of Baltimore. She is also a sponsor of HB 304.

Students and leaders from Child First Authority, GHCC, Abbottson Elementary, Baltimore City College, Barclay School, Guilford Elementary-Middle School, Northwood Elementary, 901 Arts, Wide Angle Youth Media, Tunbridge Public Charter, Waverly Elementary-Middle, the League of Women Voters, and the Cathedral of the Incarnation mobilized in support of the BEC’s agenda for City Schools.