March 27, 2013

The Latest on Baltimore’s School Construction Bill from Transform Baltimore

Transform Baltimore
Build 
Schools. Build Neighborhoods.
SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE PASSES THE BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BILL UNANIMOUSLY!  
 
We’re one step closer to achieving $1 billion for city school teachers, students, and neighborhoods! 
 
After winning a 107-30 vote in the MD House of Delegates last week, the Senate Budget and Tax Committee unanimously passed the Baltimore City School Construction bill today.   Not only have we succeeded in getting more than a super majority of the votes, we are also getting significant bipartisan support.   
 
But our work is NOT DONE.  The full Senate has to pass the bill before the Governor can sign it into law.  The Senate floor vote could happen this week – we will send out a message asking you to join us to witness this historic event.  
 
We are also meeting with senators right now, leading up to this critical vote.  If you are able to make calls or join us in Annapolis, please let us know!  
 
A HUGE THANKS to all of our partners – Baltimore Education Coalition, ACLU of Maryland, BUILD, Greater Homewood, CHAI, CLIA, Child First Authority, Baltimore Curriculum Project, Advocates for Children and Youth, the Baltimore Teacher Union, American Federation of Teachers, KIPP, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, City Neighbors Charter, Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, Elev8, Roland Park Parents, Baltimore Community Foundation, Fund for Educational Excellence, League of Women Voters, Seawall Development, Greater Baltimore Committee, Maryland IAF, and many more for being present and active over the past 3 months in Annapolis to move this bill forward.  
 
– Transform Baltimore Team
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March 22, 2013

Maryland HB 860 Third Reading Passed (107-30)

Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 4.14.56 PMThanks for the good news, Baltimore Education Coalition.

March 21, 2013

Last Chance to Support #transformbmore EXTENDED

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Twitpic of MD Delegate Maggie McIntosh of the 43rd Legislative District arguing for HB 860 on March 20, 2013

If you’ve been following the fate of the Baltimore City school construction bill, you were probably hoping for closure Wednesday night. The vote has been postponed to give legislators a chance to read the bill. Haven’t read the details yet yourself? Why wait? Download the PDF of HB0860 here. The bill returns to the floor March 21 at 10 a.m.

For national context on the state of the nation’s public school buildings, this article is also worth a look. It explains that a recent report estimates the cost of repairing America’s dilapidated school buildings at half a trillion dollars. Sounds like a whole lot. But in these days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it may be appropriate to note that Americans spent an estimated $1.7 trillion on that effort at nation building.

The time is ripe for nation building at home. Public school buildings are the right place to start.

March 19, 2013

Last Chance to Support Transform Baltimore

Transform Baltimore campaign’s status updates in my Facebook feed at around 10:15 pm March 19, 2013. March 20 is the moment of truth. Click the image to find your reps.

March 11, 2013

Good Morning

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My little one on the map we helped paint at Hampden Elementary/Middle School last May.

“I’m so angry, I’m so angry,” I say at breakfast, my calm affect completely at odds with anger as I gently close up the Velcro on my 3-year-old son’s little sneakers.

“Why are you angry?” asks my husband.

“Because the world doesn’t look the way it should,” I say.

“Then let’s make it into a different world,” says my son.

And I give him a big fat kiss on his little round cheek.

Then let’s make it into a different world.

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March 4, 2013

Wealth Inequality in America [Video]

This is why every American who makes a middle class living should care about millionaires’ and billionaires’ dabbling in education reform. Why sequestration is hogwash. Why anyone who tells you there is no money for school buildings or public school teachers or health care or medical benefits is full of it. There is more than enough to go around.

Commence reality check.

February 25, 2013

Rally Tonight in Annapolis for Baltimore City Schools (Quick Links)

Wish every Baltimore City Public School could look something like this? Rally tonight at 6pm on Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis.

For more about the issue, click around:

Wanna get on a bus? Looks like limited seats are still available on buses leaving from Poly and Northwood Elementary: For emails and phone numbers of bus captains click here: http://www.becforourkids.org/

February 21, 2013

Tonight in Hampden: The Neighborhood School Event of My Dreams!

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 9.32.26 AM

Not your mama’s PTO meeting.

February 19, 2013

Re:education in Baltimore: Baltimore Brew Edition

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 11.37.08 AM

Have you ever witnessed an exchange that you couldn’t get out of your head for days? Like seeing a total stranger quit her job on the spot, or watching a fight go down in the street? That’s what the last meeting of the Hampden Community Council was for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And talking about it. So I sat down (during the Super Bowl, with the radio on in the background) to write about it. Thanks to Fern Shen and Mark Reutter at the Baltimore Brew, I got to share my writing with some of the most thoughtful and engaged readers in town.

Here it is, my Brew debut.

February 3, 2013

This Week in Five Links (Caw! Caw!)

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  1. Greening, Hoop House at Hampden School Angers Neighbors, Adam Bednar, North Baltimore Patch, Jan. 29, 2013
  2. Too Many Teachers Are Quitting, Experts Warn, Janet Bagnall, The Montreal Gazette, Feb. 1, 2013
  3. More Lessons About Charter Schools, Editorial, New York Times, Feb. 2, 2013
  4. Dismantling Public Accountability & Transparency in the Name of Accountability & Transparency? Bruce D. Baker, School Finance 101, Feb 2, 2013
  5. Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl, Defeating San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Sun, Feb. 3, 2013
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