There was a great turn-out today for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's press conference at John Eager Howard School. The mayor called the press conference to highlight the need for increased school revenues to modernize city schools, including passage of a bill increasing the bottle tax in Baltimore City to raise $10 million for school construction. For more information, See RHIC's public statement. School administration and teachers, parents and students, community members, and advocates from ACLU, Baltimore Education Coalition, BUILD, Child First, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, and Transform Baltimore made for a diverse and enthusiastic gathering.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake delivers a strong call for action by the City Council to make a real financial commitment to addressing school facility needs by supporting the proposed 5 cent increase in the bottle tax.
Dr. Andres Alonso, Baltimore City Public School System CEO, invites anyone who doubts the importance of the need for school renovation to spend one full June day in a classroom without air conditioning. Dr. Alonso described the dilemma of having to race to just keep up with repairs on aging schools. That's not an answer to student needs. An answer is a major investment in mass-scale renovation.
Arica Gonzalez, John Eager Howard parent and Child First leader, delivers a passionate call for the City to take the first step in standing behind our children to ensure a quality environment to nurture students by passing the bill to increase the bottle bill tax and devote the funds to school renovation and construction.
Olivia Gooden, John Eager Howard 5th grader and Green Keepers member, inspired those at the press conference in her appeal that everyone give today's students a chance to excel and make the investment needed in schools.
RHIC Board President, Rev. Karen Brown, speaks with Channel 13 about the importance of a healthy school in having a healthy neighborhood. Ensuring children have a good education is the most important thing we can do to keep families in a community and attract others looking to live in the city.
Rev. Karen Brown (third from left) and John Eager Howard Principal, Tamara Hanson (to the right of the mayor under the umbrella) tour Mayor Rawlings-Blake around John Eager Howard School.
Arica Gonzalez and Principal Hanson discuss with the mayor the problems posed by the deteriorating modular building on the John Eager Howard property.
A big success: The Baltimore City Public School System has agreed to demolish and remove the building this summer.