With more than 70 percent of Baltimore schools in need of major renovation or replacement, city parents, teachers and students are holding a meeting to call for action by the mayor, city council, and state legislators. Groups from over 40 schools will gather at the War Memorial Building, 101 N. Gay Street, across from city hall on Thursday, November 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to share personal stories of poor conditions in aging buildings and to support advocacy group Transform Baltimore’s campaign to implement a $2.8 billion plan to modernize all schools within the next eight years.
The group will also display more than 2,000 postcards sent by parents, students and others to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, about the miserable conditions. The postcard comments include:
“Air conditioning is needed because summer programs have had to be cancelled due to heat; the computer lab needs to be upgraded.”
– John Eager Howard Elementary
“Looks like an institution for criminals; children can barely see out [of] the windows.”
– Westside Elementary
“The bathrooms have no doors on the stalls.”
– Gwynns Falls Elementary
Transform Baltimore, a coalition including the Baltimore Education Coalition, neighborhood advocates and others, launched this summer in response to the urgent need for school rehabilitation. Taking a page from school construction initiatives in other states, Transform Baltimore is urging state and local leaders to adopt Greenville, South Carolina’s innovative financing model and find new revenue at the city and state level for city school construction, which they will highlight at the Speak Out, the name the group has given the event.