The ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund have gone to court requesting more money for schools and education for Baltimore ("Civil rights groups ask court to force Maryland to spend hundreds of millions more on Baltimore schools,” Mar. 8).
They state that Maryland needs to be spending $200 million to $300 million per year to rebuild schools in Baltimore and provide a better education. Did they take into consideration the $1 billion that the General Assembly wants to pitch in? Have they looked at the Baltimore budget to see what the city receives to do just that? What facts are they basing their projected funding on? Is there a study that states this or is it just another wild guess for money to be added to the rest? And again where does the money come from? What pot of money should be decreased to pay for this? Also, isn’t this something that should already be provided in the Baltimore budget from the state?
A second article states that Maryland's government will receive hundreds of millions less then anticipated for fiscal years 2019 thru 2021 (“Maryland revenue projections drop by $269 million over two years; comptroller urges 'caution' in spending,” Mar. 7). So we are getting less in and people want to spend billions more? I believe that the schools should be rebuilt or replaced and I believe that there should be a financial plan for Baltimore to cover the exact costs required. This is the responsibility of the Baltimore government and school system. I think that if an organization requests large sums of money for whatever projects they identify, they should make recommended cuts in the state budget in other areas to cover their request. Other pots of money to cut could be transportation, medical, pensions or the other hundreds of categories that exist in the budget. Or even hit Baltimore’s budget for things like pay raises, transportation costs or other areas.
They should also identify how every penny of their request should be spent other then in general terms. Identify the schools to be rebuilt by time frame and cost per project. If you believe in a project then be willing to go up against other beneficiaries in the budget to fight for the money. Also, since the enrollment numbers in Baltimore are decreasing, perhaps look at closing schools and just spend more money on the remaining schools.
There could be more answers then just the obvious.
Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore