In alliance with principals and schools across the City, BUILD won an additional commitment of $10 million in funding, bringing the total to $70 million BUILD has organized to close the $130 million gap in school funding.
Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, along with 11 other city council representatives, announced the additional commitment of $10 million at a BUILD and Baltimoreans for Educational Equity action of 900 parents, teachers and principals. The week prior, BUILD stood with principals of 50 city schools along with teachers and parents in actions outside City Hall and at the next night’s school board meeting to demand that all parties negotiate a solution to completely close the gap over the next 3 years until the next funding formula change. From this organized pressure, BUILD also helped influence the Mayor and State Legislature to secure an additional $60 million in city and state funding to help fix the gap.
LEARN President and CEO, Greg White, formally acknowledge and thanked Lake County United (LCU) for their role in laying the ground work for community support that led to the authorization of LEARN 9 in Waukegan IL. LEARN Charter Network has 10 schools with 4,100 students (88% are low-income). Each of the established schools exceed state standards.
240 elementary school students are now drumming, dancing, cooking, playing basketball, doing academics, and getting a hot dinner every day after school thanks to AIM! The Dream Academy Program is modeled after Child First Authority, an after school program created by Metro IAF affiliate BUILD, and organizes parents to be engaged in their school and community, and to win quality after school programming in the lowest income schools in Montgomery County MD.
AIM started organizing two years ago when parents and school staff said over and over that quality, affordable after school programming was non-existent for low-income students and was contributing to the opportunity and achievement gap for students of color and low-income students. The program provides an hour of recreation and an hour of academics to students four days a week.
AIM is working to expand the program to four additional schools in 2018.
As anybody who reads local papers knows, there is an important political contest taking place in New York politics. The mayor and governor are arguing how to fund a full expansion to universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). Each side is holding firm, making moves, counter moves. The resolution of this conflict is important, not just for the game of politics between New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, but for the future of all of New York State’s children.
On May 21 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Baltimore City School Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013, authorizing more than $1 billion for school construction and renovationthe single largest investment in Baltimore’s neighborhoods in more than 30 years. The effort to overhaul the city’s public school facilities will result in 15 new schools and more than 30 renovated schools across the city. Nearly 140 of Baltimore city’s 162 school facilities are in poor or very poor condition, and although the district has made significant gains in enrollment and graduation rates over the last several years, Baltimore still lags behind the rest of the state. BUILD is committed that addressing the building needs will be a catalyst for education reforms to ensure Baltimore’s children achieve the highest expectations.
Through the Baltimore Education Coalition, BUILD helped unite the City and State to act on one goal: build schools, build Baltimore. As Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director of the Baltimore City Schools Office of Engagement, explains, “...but for BUILD the $1.1 billion could not have happened. But for your hard work, your willingness to stand up strong and move quickly, your network of relationships, your understanding of how to get things done, and above all your commitment to what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now” and to the principle that, “the children come first.” It bears saying again—renovating schools is the single biggest investment in our neighborhoods and our children in Baltimore’s history.”
Michael Dresser got it right in describing the trajectory of the Baltimore school facilities bill as going from "non-starter to law," but the story goes far beyond the elected and appointed officials who worked hard to make the deals and shepherd the legislation to passage ("City schools bill a political showpiece," May 17).
At the mayoral forum sponsored last week by the Daily News and the Metro IAF citizens organization, Bill Thompson got to the heart of why we pressed the candidates to detail plans for the schools. He asked: “What defines success, not just in four years, each year. The chancellor and mayor need to be held accountable for that.
Greater Cleveland Congregations helped to pass a $80 million school levy in Cleveland -- a campaign that involved intense voter mobilization in battleground Ohio involving 60+ volunteers who called, canvassed, campaigned, drove, knocked, and dragged on Election Day, 100+ volunteers who participated in phone banks over the past week, and 250+ volunteers who collected over 5,000 voter registrations and knocked on over 10,000 doors speaking face-to-face with nearly 2,500 voters about the importance of the levy (not to mention the thousands of conversations with family, friends, neighbors, co-parishioners, strangers on the street....).