Parents and Students Rally For More Funding For City Schools

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hundreds of parents and students gather to demand more funding for Baltimore City Schools are now facing the largest budget gap in school history.

Families and teachers say they need a plan from our city and state government on how this mess will be fixed and ignoring this issue will have a lasting impact on Baltimore students.

Students, families, and advocates gathering by the hundreds are demanding a plan for Baltimore City Schools unprecedented budget cap.

Parents speaking out about potential impacts on their families.

“Our biggest fear is that we won’t be able to stay here. Libby has a little brother that’s hopefully following in her footsteps to go to public school, but we can’t afford private school for two kids,” says parent Erin Tallarico.

The current 130 million dollar budget gap would lead to cuts, layoffs, larger class sizes, and fewer school programs.

Schools CEO Sonja Santelises telling WJZ that would put students at a disadvantage.

“What it does mean is a very pared down and insufficient level of education and all you have to do is look at some of the school budgets that our schools are working with,” says City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santalises.

Mayor Catherine Pugh has pledged her support, but she, state lawmakers, nor Governor Larry Hogan have publicly released a plan.

“They can’t just keep saying ‘give us more money, give us more money, but we’re not going to fix the problem.’ They’ve been losing and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and its a mess,” says Governor Larry Hogan.

More than two thousand students writing to Governor Hogan, hoping it will pump up the pressure to find a plan.

“We know that we have work to do in City Schools but we also know that we have young people here who are worth the investment,” says Dr. Santelises.

Baltimore Public Schools already face declining enrollment. But some parents tell WJZ, they would have a tough decision to stay or leave based on the proposed changes within the schools.

The deadline to make cuts or narrow the budget shortfall is July 1st.

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