Grassroots Group Protests Mayor’s Proposed Cuts To After-School Programs

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Hundreds of parents, students and community activists gathered outside of the Convention Center Thursday. They’re angry with Baltimore’s mayor over proposed cuts to after-school programs.

Derek Valcourt has more on the protest and the message this group is trying to send.

This group launched their protest, saying the mayor is putting the Inner Harbor ahead of the city’s children.

Each year thousands of kids participate in city funded after-school programs like the one at Calvin Rodwell Elementary. Antoinette Bossard’s kids are among them.

But she and others from the grassroots faith-based organization BUILD now blast Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s proposed budget, which includes a slight decrease in after-school funding. It’s down from $4.8 million in the 2012 budget to $4.6 million in 2013 as the city faces its third year of budget deficits.

They say that cut comes despite a verbal promise from the mayor to make major increases.

“She promised to double after-school funding,” said Rev. Andrew Foster Conners, BUILD clergy co-chair. “She didn’t have to. If she was going to cut it she could have said no.  She said ‘Yes, I make the promise.’  And we expect her to be honest, and we expect her to keep her commitment.”

The mayor was not available to speak with WJZ. Her spokesperson insists the mayor never made a promise to increase after-school funding, saying BUILD is misrepresenting the question they asked her and her answer.

“Children need to be our top priority,” Conners said. “They find money for the Convention Center. They find it for the Superblock. They find it for Harbor East. They find it for Under Armour.  We expect them to find it for our children. We will not allow any more public subsidies downtown until we put our children at the top of the priority list.”

BUILD officials insist they will be there to protest at any public hearings over subsidies for downtown and Inner Harbor projects.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • 1-0-3-0 WITHERSPOON

    the people who have all these kids,let them foot the bill,,,,,or school them at home,,,,

  • Celestine Smith

    Well I certainly hope she enjoys these years as mayor, she will not get voted in a second term.

  • ballsohardclub

    Celestine, WRONG! Any democratic black that can pull a lever will be carried, driven or brought by camel to vote in the Mayoral election. Generations of welfare mentality blacks looking for “Da Man” to give them something for nothing & not caring who pays for it are the king / queens in this city. It’s filth, crime & decay can be laid at the feet of all Dem. blacls.

  • gary

    people are so rude and ignorant, this is why i dont like crackers at all.

  • ballsohardclub

    @Gary, Truth hurst & stings alittle eh moolie?….Man , fuc you. Blacks are one of the most racist groups in history towards one another & foul mouthed ignorant people for sure. Just listen to these Mo fo’s, they shout scream & even shout @ God on Sunday. Do you think God like to be shouted at?

  • Rev. Proctor

    I heard the Mayor make that promise to double after school funding, and I’m pretty sure BUILD has it on video tape. They should send the Mayor a copy to remind her.

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