DBFA’s education rally takes on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
By Shae McCoy
The fate of education for Baltimore City Public school students has been quite a conversation piece lately. If you are not aware, the Baltimore City Public system is facing its largest budget deficit being approximately $130 million in debt. With the debt being so high many teachers fear layoffs and with layoffs that means the teacher to classroom ratio will change. This change, of course, will not be in the favor of students nor teachers.
Many ask what Mayor Pugh and Gov. Hogan will do to alleviate this deficit and assure that teachers won’t lose their jobs and that students will still receive the best education that is available. According to the Baltimore Sun, Mayor Pugh met separately with Gov. Hogan and Senate pres. Thomas V. Mike Miller to discuss the distribution of state aid to help the deficit.
On March 4, 2017, DFBA, a non-profit that consists of parents, educators, and community activists who focus on the well-being of Baltimore families organized “March forth on March 4.” This rally was put together to call out elected officials and challenge them to come up with a plan to rid the Baltimore public school system of their $130 million deficit. DFBA also puts the pressure on Gov. Hogan demanding him to provide funding for city schools.
During the rally there were many people who spoke. Those people included students of various schools in Baltimore City, teachers within the Baltimore school system, city officials and the concerned parents of these students. While voicing on the deficit, people chanted amongst the crowd inquiring where the mayor was. She was not in attendance and her absence disappointed a lot of parents and teachers. I got to speak briefly with Emily Card (Western High School) who has taught in Baltimore City for 8 years and thinks that, “This should not be something we have to fight over. This should not be an issue. This should not be a question.” She went on to say that “we shouldn’t have schools where I don’t have heat in my classroom, or I don’t have AC, where we can’t drink the water, where teachers are buying their own supplies, and the kids are now worried that their teachers are going to go away.” It’s quite evident that the teacher/ student relationship is very important. I spoke with Caroline Cook (Patterson High School) who’s in her 6th year of teaching who says,” They deserve the best and they deserve an education without limits and they deserve to be supported and that means giving them adequate funding.” In reference to her students. 11th grader, Ashley Morris-Graham came to “support her teachers” she elaborates by briefing on her anxiety and how her teachers have helped her through her episodes. “Most teachers I just can’t go to if I’m having like anxiety breakdowns,” Ashley says referring to the teachers she’s built a bond with.
This rally shed light on what has been done so far, what needs to be done, and whom it will affect in the present and in the future.
To find out more about DFBA and “March forth on March 4th,”
Photos by Shae McCoy