Reporting Kai Jackson
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Thousands of Baltimore families descended on Annapolis Monday night, rallying to support improvements for city schools. They’re pushing for a multi-billion dollar construction plan to fix crumbling classrooms.
Kai Jackson was in the midst of the action.
Supporters of this plan say city school buildings need action now.
A few thousand students, city leaders and concerned citizens rallied in front of the State House in Annapolis Monday. They are advocates for Baltimore schools and are demanding more money to fund them.
“It’s time for better buildings, better Baltimore, better Maryland,” said Yasmene Mumby, Baltimore Education Coalition.
Felipe Jackson is the principal of Gilmor Elementary School in West Baltimore. Jackson says it’s falling apart.
“You see the vents. You have some that work, some that do not work,” he said.
In fact, the Baltimore Education Coalition says it has a bold, long-range plan for city schools. One billion dollars is the estimate of the amount needed to renovate 65 schools. Perhaps the harder sell will be the political will needed from the governor and lawmakers.
“When the confetti falls on Sine Die, on the last day of the session, we will have a deal for Baltimore schools,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“We really need to make some improvements in Baltimore City schools,” said teacher Jeff Ellis.
Educators, parents and other concerned citizens say something has to be done about the condition of city schools. They say if not, it will be students in the long run that suffer.
“We recognize that our children deserve the best and that if they’re going to learn, they’ve got to be in facilities that are ready for learning,” said Child First Executive Director Carol Reckling.
Jackson’s school is a prime example of the dilapidation plaguing some city schools. Gilmor Elementary is on the list to be renovated–if it can make it that far in the future.
“I think they should [come up with the money] but I don’t know if they will,” said sophomore Shanika Brown.
There are bills in the House and Senate that deal with the funding of Baltimore City schools.