It is important to understand the complexity of the 21st Century Buildings program. The state did not write a check for $1 billion to city schools, as some might think. State law locks in $60 million annually for the program — $20 million each from the state, city government and city schools — which the Maryland Stadium Authority will use to issue bonds that should raise close to $1 billion. Thus, two-thirds of the program is being paid for by local sources, which includes a 5-cent city tax on beverage containers. In addition to contributing that $20 million annually, the city school system is required to dig deeper into its operating budget to double its maintenance funding to $30 million each year to ensure mechanical systems, roofs and other capital projects reach their full life term. The state is also requiring that the school system close 26 schools to "right size" its inventory due to enrollment loss over the past decades. Mayor Rawlings-Blake has recognized the desperate needs of 100-plus school buildings and has committed to continuing the city's traditional $17 million in capital funds for repairs. In light of requiring all of this local effort, it would be unfair and irresponsible for the state to consider reducing its own effort to city schools.