These momentous occasions are the result of Baltimore uniting on behalf of the City’s children
(BALTIMORE – August 21, 2018) – This week we celebrate ribbon cuttings for an unprecedented five new or fully renovated schools that will open to students and communities this fall. These events mark a major step forward in the effort to modernize schools across the city.
“This unprecedented number of school openings in Baltimore is the result of a campaign involving thousands of residents citywide who fought passionately and tirelessly so that city students could benefit from the same resources and amenities afforded to those in wealthier areas of Maryland,” said Frank Patinella, ACLU of Maryland, Senior Advocate, Education Project.
Ribbon cuttings happening this week come on the heels of four schools that opened in 2017-18 (Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School, Frederick Elementary School, Dorothy I. Height Elementary School, and Wildwood Elementary/Middle School) as well as five school buildings that are currently under construction, and several others in the planning phase in the 21stCentury School Buildings Program (for a total of 23-28 schools in the 21st Century Buildings Program).
“All Baltimore schoolchildren and their teachers deserve to be in modernized buildings. With five schools opening this fall we are taking a major step toward the day when all City students will be able to arrive each morning in schools with sufficient heat, air-conditioning, water fountains from which they can drink, 21st century technology, and playing fields where they can get exercise,” said Patinella.
“This week we are celebrating the opening of a gorgeous new school building that offers the level of respect our students and community deserve. Rebuilding Arundel Elementary School is not only an investment in our students, parents, and staff, but also in our community that has long been neglected,” said Kellie Brown, Community School Coordinator at Arundel Elementary School and staff of Elev8.
The new schools are the result of the Baltimore community uniting on behalf of the City’s children. According to outside consultants, 85% of school buildings in Baltimore were in poor condition. When ACLU proposed the $1 billion school construction program for Baltimore City in 2010-11, most people—elected officials and Baltimore citizens alike—thought it was impossible. ACLU believed the plan was feasible and that getting it done was a matter of political will, and not a lack of government resources. Thousands of people were organized to urge city and state lawmakers to adopt the $1 billion school construction plan to rebuild or renovate 23-28 schools for Baltimore students, families, and neighborhoods.
The ACLU of Maryland today thanks for their efforts the Transform Baltimore campaign, Baltimore Education Coalition, parents and students, the Baltimore City legislative delegation, various grassroots organizations, business, and philanthropic leaders, the current and past mayors and governors, and other elected officials, with critical support from statewide leaders, who worked to pass the 2013 $1 billion 21st Century School Buildings bill creating the Program.
Go to the ACLU of Maryland website for more information: www.aclu-md.org/events