Two voices opposing city schools budget cuts
Over the weekend, I received essays from a teacher and a parent in opposition to the governor's proposed budget cuts to Baltimore schools. I'll post one now and the other later this morning.
Friday, I just completed my first semester as a BCPSS teacher. I consider this an accomplishment that is not rivaled by anything else I have ever done. My students are inspirational, amazing, and the future leaders of this city and world. There is an attachment to them that has formed throughout the toil of each lesson administered and every hallway interaction. They deserve my all and the state's best resources.
To my dismay, Governor O'Malley's proposed budget for 2009 will result in $23 million in cuts for Baltimore City schools. This is unacceptable. For the first time in four decades, there has been an increase in enrollment. The students have shown signs of growth on standardized testing and in their maturity levels. The audacity of hope and message of change by Barack Obama has inspired city students everywhere that anything is possible. However, anything is much more attainable when the resources are available. What message are we sending our students when we tell them to dream big dreams but do not give them the tools needed?
The common retaliatory remark is that we are all hurting, so Baltimore must understand that everyone needs to take a hit. Well then, why is Montgomery County receiving a $27 million increase in funding? That is a 6.4% increase in funding while Baltimore will be decreased by 2.8%. Explain how one of the richest counties in Maryland receives a large increase while everyone else is raped of funding.
I come from a city that continually gets left behind, Detroit. We have had our fair share of school troubles, mayoral scandals, and economic hardships. However, we have never been known to walk around with our heads down or to leave anyone behind. As a former mayor of Baltimore City, O'Malley should not be leaving Baltimore schools behind.
Dr. Alonso and the school board have been responsible stewards of the money given to them. So, why would you take money out of your best investment? If you disagree, step into a Baltimore City classroom. Go to a BCPSS school board meeting where students are featured at the beginning of every meeting. The future of our students cannot be sacrificed now for a temporary solution.