Who should run the city schools?
Baltimore City Councilman Keiffer Mitchell, a mayoral candidate, released part of his education platform yesterday. At the center is a proposal to return control of Baltimore's schools exclusively to the mayor, dissolving a current partnership with the state in which the mayor and the governor have joint appointment power over the school board. The mayor controlled city schools until a decade ago, when officials agreed to cede partial control to the state in exchange for increased funding. Critics of the partnership say it's left neither party responsible. The Sun's story about Mitchell's plan is here.
Also last night, the city school board voted to keep a for-profit company, Edison Schools, running three elementaries, but details of the funding arrangement have yet to be finalized. You can read my story here. The Edison schools will be funded like charter schools, public schools that operate independently. But the city is mired in a funding battle with the charters, which want to receive as much money in cash per student as the system spends at regular schools. The city wants to fund the charters through a mix of cash and services, such as food and special education.
Do you think the city-state partnership to govern Baltimore schools is working, or should control be returned exclusively to the mayor? And what are your thoughts on school privatization and how independently-run public schools should be funded?
(A note for you city school board followers out there: The next regularly scheduled board meeting, on May 22, will be held at the Lake Clifton high school campus, 2801 Saint Lo Drive, rather than the usual location at school system heaquarters. The starting time, 6 p.m., is the same.)