Baltimore Officials Tour City Schools, Discuss Overtime Pay

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.

More from Jessica Kartalija
  • wow

    I’m so sorry I voted for Blake. I thought she was different . I thought she was fair. Never again. She’s had quite a few issues with money in her administration and she’s basically just looked the other way. I hope everyone’s watching and not to elect her again!

  • Honest Steve

    A driver makes 200,000 a year? Was that a typo?

    Another reason why schools shouldnt be funded via the Department of Education. The feds take tax money and then redistripute it back down to the states. So my kids get less of my money for their school however the city gets so much money they can spend 200,000 a year for a personal driver for the boss.

    I saw whatever revenue the district and state can muster up is what the school district gets. If parents/companys want to contribute more to the cause then so be. The greatest generation to ever live got by just fine without A/C in their schools.

    Americas education system. Making giant P’s out of kids since 1980’s.

  • true

    This just goes to show how arrogant balonzo is he deserves a driver for just doing his job

  • AD2536

    Instead of wasting time on touring the schools spend some time planning the repairs. Everybody knows the schools are in horrible shape. It is a fact for years! All this touring the schools and making promises being on the news trying to be the hero is old! Take action! Maybe that is why he works 70, 80, 90 hrs a week. He wastes too much time on making promises. Give me a break. He is a joke!
    The driver with his 155K/yr salary is the smart one!

  • fhr

    Let me get this straight: Alonzo’s driver is paid over $150K a year AND Alonzo gets an additional $9K a year allowance for transportation costs?

    This is one of the many reasons why the school system is broken. It’s WRONG and the politicians should not be justifying these extravagant expenses.

  • Seuss

    Alonzo really…. You could stand to lose a few pounds Walk to some of the schools that is around your office…I know your Heart would be happy because you look like you do alot of huffing and puffing when you are just sitting in a chair doing interviews…

  • Benton Heights

    Why does Fat Albert, I mean Alonzo need a driver? He is not royalty and should drive his own car.

  • Sheila Ebelein

    Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. If he used two people for his hours, he wouldn’t be as effective? This man is a con artist.

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