Heated debate at board meeting amid school closures and a charter contract revocation
The Baltimore City school board late Tuesday night approved the closure of four middle schools, a high school, and revoked the charter of another low-performing school.
The board voted unanimously to close the following middle schools at the end of the academic year: Diggs-Johnson, West Baltimore, and Winston. They also voted to close Doris M. Johnson High School. Chinquapin Middle will also close. Board member George Van Hook was the lone vote against its closure. The board also unanimously approved an arts theme for Booker T. Washington Middle. The board voted to revoke the charter status of Dr. Rayner Browne Academy, which became the first school in the city not to be issued a charter contract renewal.
My sources tell me that there were plenty of fireworks between schools CEO Andres Alonso and Van Hook. Apparently, Alonso was offended after Van Hook used the phrase "neo slavery" when talking about the school closures. I'm trying my best to track both men down today so I can see what both were actually thinking during the exchange. I promise to have some type of update on this in the near future.