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City Leaders Have New Plan To Repair Baltimore Schools

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — School buildings in dire need of repair. For years, WJZ has told you about the problems with Baltimore City schools.

Adam May reports on the new plan under discussion right now.

Holabird Academy is like many Baltimore City schools: old, cloudy, broken windows with barely working AC units.

Now the plea from parents heads to politicians in Annapolis. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Schools CEO Dr. Andres Alonso are lobbying the governor and other top lawmakers to fund their so-called 21st Century Building for our Kids plan. It will cost $2.4 billion and will be implemented over 10 years.

“It’s a plan that has been done with enormous community input,” Alonso said.

The detailed plan includes renovating or replacing 136 schools, reducing capacity and making existing buildings better. It will also close 26 aging schools.

“It’s not going to be easy. The decision to close some schools will be rough all around,” Rawlings-Blake said.

State lawmakers didn’t seriously look at the proposal last year. This year could be different after the city took additional steps to fund schools with the bottle tax. But it’s not nearly enough to even the playing field, according to city school principals who jumped in the battle last year.

“Their county cousins go to a nice new building. We don’t have that; our kids deserve that,” said Anthony Ruby.

The power players were meeting late Monday afternoon and early Monday evening. The media was not allowed to attend the discussions.

The decision will impact more than 80,000 students in the school system.

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