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Baltimore City Public Schools Adminstrative Headquarters building on North Avenue.
Baltimore City Public Schools Adminstrative Headquarters building on North Avenue. (ROBERT K. HAMILTON / Baltimore Sun)

It was upsetting but not surprising to read that so many public schools in Baltimore and other parts of the state received one or two stars in the state’s rating system (“Maryland school star ratings: Fewer earn four and five stars in 2019 as schools move toward middle,” Dec. 3).

I work with parents in several Baltimore City public schools and my two children attend city schools. I see firsthand how much more we need to be doing to give kids a great education. We need everything from proper bathroom supplies to after-school programs, support for teachers, up-to-date equipment, resources for families like food pantries and training for school staff in dealing with community challenges.

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It is unacceptable that our schools simply don’t have the resources to meet our students’ needs. I am a strong supporter of the Kirwan Commission’s plan to reform our schools. The Kirwan plan would directly help the schools I work in. More kids would have access to a good pre-K program, the school would have more social workers and resources to address trauma and mental health issues so many of our children and communities face, and we’d be able to attract and keep high-quality teachers.

We can’t accept these low ratings any longer. Our kids deserve better, and the Kirwan plan can move us forward.

Tyrone Barnwell, Baltimore

The writer is a parent organizer with the Teachers’ Democracy Project.

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