RHIC Press Statement for Mayor Rawlings-Blake Press Conference at John Eager Howard School




Contacts: Rev. Karen Brown, President, Board of Directors; Rick Gwynallen, Associate Director; 410.225.7547 – 18 April 2012


Schools are essential to the well-being of our children now and in their future.  They are also essential institutions in a community.  Good schools keep families in a community and attract others to move in.  We are proud of John Eager Howard School. Its teachers, administration, and students are leading the school to Maryland Green School status, but our school has needs its budget cannot meet.

Today, Baltimore City schools need an estimated $2.8 billion to provide our children high-quality, modern schools, but the longer we wait the higher the price tag will go, and with each year of waiting more and children do not get the educational experience they need and deserve.  A task this large and this important will require an innovative approach and additional revenue.  With creative financing and dedicated new revenue, our city can build new schools to provide our children with facilities that help them learn and achieve.  Instead of substandard old school buildings that are a liability for neighborhoods, new state of the art schools could help us revitalize neighborhoods and attract and retain families in the city. 

The Baltimore City Council is preparing to hear a bottle tax proposal that could generate up to $155 million for school construction.  This is a key component of the Mayor’s $300 million plan to begin providing our children with modern buildings.  Reservoir Hill Improvement Council applauds the Mayor’s commitment to City schools and encourages ever greater efforts toward reaching the financial goal that will allow mass-scale modernization of all schools. As members of Baltimore Education Coalition and Transform Baltimore we will work toward that goal.

What can just a few extra pennies for soda or water at the store could accomplish?  It could install air conditioning in half of our school buildings, or construct 10 brand new elementary schools, or replace windows at nearly every school in the city!  “My 5 cents is to remove the deteriorating modular building at John Eager Howard.  Plus our children need air conditioning and clean drinking water at John Eager Howard,” said Rev. Karen Brown, President of the Board of Directors of  Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.

Our students, teachers, and neighborhoods cannot wait any longer for another solution.  The need to repair our school buildings is too great.