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Baltimore Schools need HVACs expedited and rights for tenants!

As an educator, a substitute of nine years between Prince George’s and Baltimore City, I am horrified by the financial instability of the school system in Baltimore city.  Its HVAC situation should be fast-tracked.

In a memo dated May 31, 2022, 18 schools remain under repair. Six to be completed during the 2022-2023 school year – Curtis Bay Elementary School, Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School, Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School,  Benjamin Franklin High School, National Academy Foundation, The Mount Washington School (lower building), another six by the Summer of ‘23 –  Yorkwood Elementary School (completion August 2022), Collington Square Elementary/Middle School (completion August 2022), Southwest Baltimore Charter School (completion August 2022),  North Bend Elementary/Middle School,  Westport Academy,  Johnston Square Elementary School (completion August 2022) and the remaining have replacement or renovation of schools needed –  Baltimore City College H.S., City Springs Elementary/Middle School,  Cross Country Elementary/Middle School, Furley Elementary School, Montebello Elementary/Middle School (rebuilding), and Vanguard Collegiate Middle School.  City High School will definitely be a pushed priority as it is in my district.  

Tax Increment Funding (TIF) in cities and counties are supposed to provide fair development and in multiple Maryland cities and counties, corporate greed exacerbates the practice.  Not to mention too many PPPs (public, private partnerships.  Public partners, yes; private, no.  Elected officials ought to bridge wealth gaps, such as what I’m finding; campaigning in my district where 90% of the residents (most own their homes) can find some ground to grow the remaining 10% to maintain economic stability. But it’ll never become reality with a frugal spending City council.

Downtown deserves an investment as do many parts of the city but fair. However, the proposal put forth is bad.  New development includes 76 “affordable units” but “Class A” apartments range between $1,571 to $3,746. Who can afford this in the city?

I urge school and elected officials to expedite replacement or renovation of  these 18 schools to complete these projects sooner than 2023 so that schools don’t miss valuable days due to climate change.  Thank you.

-Renaud Brown, District 43A Green Party candidate

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