Rolley blasts mayor on late school facilities report
Mayoral candidate Otis Rolley challenged Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake this week about when her report on how to fund school facility improvements--which is five months late--will be released.
In a release sent Tuesday, Rolley cited an article I wrote exactly one month ago, in which the mayor's spokesman was quoted saying the report, originally due out in February, would be out in June.
"As bizarre as it was that she proclaimed we had to ‘stick with what works’ even as new test scores revealed our schools are falling further behind, what is simply outrageous is that she simply has not kept her word to release a plan to address our schools’ crumbling infrastructure,” said Otis today. “Last year she said she’d have it by February, then it slipped to the end of June, and now it’s July with no plan. Where is it?”
In November, Rawlings-Blake, who is looking to reclaim her seat this fall, formed a task force that was charged with exploring "alternative financing options, new legislative options, and successful models used in other jurisdictions across the country for meeting the school system’s construction needs."
The task force was formed after the ACLU of Maryland issued two reports: one that revealed the $2.8 billion in repairs needed to revamp the city's dilapidated infastructure; and another that suggested ways the city could pay for it by pointing to other cities who have found ways to do so.
The mayor's spokesman, Ryan O'Doherty, told our City Hall Reporter Julie Scharper that the report was being held up by "changes in certain funding formulas that occurred during the legislative session must be appropriately incorporated into the report. There is also some new legislation that will be part of final report. The administration and school system representatives on the joint task force continue to work on the report."
When questioned about specific details about the new legislation and changes in funding formula, O'Doherty said all of the details will be in the report. He did not indicate when it will be released.