Mayor, Alonso to meet with state leaders on schools

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and city schools chief Andres Alonso are scheduled to travel to Annapolis Monday to meet with Gov. Martin O'Malley and top legislators on a $2.4 billion plan to rebuild Baltimore's aging public schools, the chairman of the city's House delegation said Friday.

Del. Curt Anderson said he and Del. Keith Haynes, who sits on the subcommittee that will review the plan, are expected to join the meeting with House Speaker Michael E. Busch and the governor. The governor's office and a spokeswoman for the speaker confirmed the plans.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's office said that he too plans to meet with the mayor and Alonso that day.

Rawlings-Blake and Alonso are backing a plan under which Baltimore would be assured a $32 million block grant each year for several decades. If approved by the General Assembly and the governor, the plan is expected to allow the city school system to rebuild its aging infrastructure over the next 10 years using bonds issued on the strength of that commitment.

Enlisting the support of the three state leaders would be critical if the plan is to move forward.

Miller has openly questioned the wisdom of making such a long-term commitment to a single jurisdiction -- even the one with the state's oldest and most deteriorated schools. Busch and O'Malley have said they are reserving judgment until they learn more.







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