Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Unacceptable. That’s how City Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso describes conditions at an elementary school in Northeast Baltimore.
Jessica Kartalija reports this came days after Baltimore parents learned Alonso’s personal driver earns more in overtime than most Marylanders do in a year.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Alonso toured Barclay Elementary/Middle, a school in desperate need of repair. But with $14 million of the education budget paying staff overtime these past four years and more than $200,000 going to Dr. Alonso’s private driver, there isn’t enough money to pay for repairs.
“I don’t think parents are upset with me. I think they see that I am working for the children, that I work 70, 80, 90 hours a week,” Alonso said.
Hours, he says, require the use of a personal driver.
“It’s no different than the governor and the mayor and how they travel,” Alonso said. Reporter: “He’s getting paid more than the governor.” If I used two people for my hours, I wouldn’t have that problem but I wouldn’t be as effective,” Alonso said.
The mayor, who earns the same amount as Alonso’s driver, is also taking heat for proposing a bottle tax for school funding.
“The bottle tax is a first step. It will help us put over 140 percent increase in school construction in play,” Rawlings-Blake said.
When asked about education money used to pay Alonso’s driver, she said, “There’s no amount of money that he could pay one employee that could fix this school or any other school.”
Barclay’s principal has a mess to deal with.
“The heating, the ceiling tiles…the bathrooms are deplorable,” said principal Jenny Heinbaugh.
Alonso says enrollment in city schools is higher than it has been in the past 40 years.