Baltimore Officials Ask For Funding For New Schools

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore City appeals to the General Assembly for funding to build new schools.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains the mayor and school superintendent set out to convince a House committee that Baltimore is in worse shape than other school districts.

Some of the state’s best students are learning in the worst environments. Seventy percent of Baltimore City school buildings are rated in poor condition, the worst buildings in the state.

“It’s a feeling that makes you not want to come to school,” said tenth-grader Larry Jones.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and School Superintendent Dr. Andres Alonso are asking the state for a special funding plan. Instead of allocating money to the city on a project-by-project basis, the bill creates an annual $32 million block grant.

“We need to start the ball rolling when it comes to getting enough funds in the works to make a serious effort toward reforming and improving our schools,” Rawlings-Blake said.

“I’m for everything that brings money to the schools,” Alonso said.

City officials agree the job is too big and too expensive to accomplish without special consideration from the state.

Rawlings-Blake told the committee that the condition of Baltimore City schools is unacceptable and it’s time for the quality of the facilities to meet the achievements of the students.

The mayor is also asking for a city bottle tax to help pay for school construction.

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