Problem With The Education System In Baltimore Maryland

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Problem with the education system in Baltimore Maryland


The Baltimore education system (City Schools) serves the needs of public education in Baltimore City, covering approximately 77 square miles, with a residential population of more than 646,000. It is the fourth largest public school system in the State of Maryland. City Schools operates 190 facilities over a ten-mile radius, which includes elementary, middle, and high schools education centers; alternative schools; and administrative offices. Central administration for City Schools located at 200 East North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland (Harris, p.309). In the next section, we will examine the associated problems and the probable solutions to the issue of reforming the education system in Baltimore Maryland.

Discussion & Analysis


For most of the 20th century, Maryland has been trying to find a way to distribute the state's wealth so that children, regardless of where they live, would have a chance at an equal education. Studies commissioned, lawsuits filed, task forces convened and state funding formulas devised. With the start in 1987 of APEX, short for Action Plan for Education Excellence, the state laid out an ambitious five-year plan intended to balance the scales. Little state money, proportionately, would go to wealthy jurisdictions such as Montgomery County, and healthy doses would be funneled to poorer areas such as Baltimore. Nevertheless, the gap between per-pupil spending in the poorest county and the wealthiest has widened, and pressure is building in the state, to fashion more aggressive and innovative solutions (Marginson, pp. 19-31).

Today, Maryland leaders are anxiously watching the successful legal challenges to school spending plans in New Jersey and other states. Many say the General Assembly must act next year or face the possibility of severe and painful choices later. To DeWayne Whittington, superintendent of schools for Somerset County on the lower Eastern Shore, the current disparities are anything but abstract. They translate into deficient art and music programs, an absence of elementary school counselors and inadequate pay for teachers. "One of our best teachers, who are been here 16 years, is leaving because she can drive 15 minutes and make $10,000 more". According to Whittington, the teacher can get an instant pay raise by transferring to neighboring Worcester County, a wealthier area by virtue of the tax revenue reaped from the resort business in Ocean City (Lauder, p. 176).

The quality of education offered to the 670,000 students in Maryland public schools, as measured in state and local dollars devoted to school operations largely remains a matter of geography. In the past school year, $6,629 was spent for each pupil in Montgomery County, compared with $5,160 in Prince George's, $4,209 in Baltimore and $4,049 in Caroline County. Proportionately more state aid goes to poorer jurisdictions, but the wealthy school systems more than make up the difference with municipal money.

Some critics note that state priorities make it difficult to bring all spending on par. Only half the nearly $1.4 billion in state aid to education is linked to the wealth of a school district. Any effort to channel more state aid ...
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