Mayor, Alonso do agree on one part of school construction plan
In a story today about Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake's State of the City address, our City Hall Reporter Julie Scharper touched a lot on how the mayor has essentially rejected city schools CEO Andres Alonso's plan to rapidly rebuild the city's dilapidated school buildings with more debt, and instead champions a plan based on a slower, but arguably steadier, stream of revenue.
But, I believe a sleeping giant is where the mayor and Alonso are of the same mind: schools, possibly some pretty historic anchors in communities, will have to close in order for any facilities overhaul plan will work.
If you remember, I wrote in October about Alonso's plan to close schools that are underutilized or beyond repair--which he warned would be a large-scale, but painful process.
The school system commissioned an inventory of sorts on the school system's facilities, which will guide the decisions about what schools will close. That report is expected this month, or next.
The mayor also touched on this part of Alonso's plan in her speech on Monday, telling city residents that, in order to begin fixing schools,"we need to look at the current inventory and how we are using the resources that we have."
"Some schools will expand, some schools will merge, and some schools that we may have fond memories of will need to close," the mayor said. "Nostalgia has the power to make the past a priority over the present. And we might not always like what is proposed, but all of us should support the work of the School Board on this mission—it’s what’s best for our kids, our future, and it will help get Baltimore growing again."