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Marylanders should be appalled by conditions in Baltimore schools

Gov. Larry Hogan publicly rebuked Baltimore schools CEO Sonja B. Santelises on Wednesday, accusing her of failing to live up to her commitments on a timetable to air-condition seven schools where students were dismissed early as a result of the heat. (Michael Dresser / Baltimore Sun video)

I experienced a moment of confusion while reading "Schools await needed repairs" (Sept. 30). The description of the 43-year-old leaking roof and falling ceiling tiles at Federal Hill Preparatory School, the burst pipe flooding the staircase at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and the backlog of repairs throughout the city school system made me think I had somehow put aside the current news and had taken up a book I have been reading, “A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America’s Schools” by Rachel Devlin. It tells the story of families who sued for educational equity in the 1940s, well before the landmark Brown case.

The Sun article and the Devlin narrative are shockingly similar in regard to the conditions of the school buildings that students here must endure now and those that students in small Southern and Midwestern towns were forced to endure then.

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The report in The Sun indicates that plumbing was repaired at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but that overall, city and state authorities appear incapable of resolving the Gordian knot of inadequate funding tied to deferred maintenance tied to dilemmas in funding management — generating progressive deterioration of city school facilities. Also reported: State approval for a new roof at Federal HIll has been deferred. Aren't the persons who make these decisions for one of the richest states in the Union just a little embarrassed to leave a school of over 300 children in grades K-3 in danger of being concussed by falling tiles?

Jo Ann O. Robinson, Baltimore

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