THIS ALL HAS TO DO WITH EDUCATION BECAUSE IT LOOKS AT HOW THESE 'GIFTING' GROUPS THAT ARE JUST BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATIONS AND THE RICH ARE USING THEIR CLOUT TO MAKE WHAT IS OURS....THEIRS. THEY ARE THE ONES AFTER ALL THAT WILL FLOAT THE NON-PROFIT, THIRD PARTY BONDS FOR THIS DEAL AND THEY WILL NOT FOLD IN AN ECONOMIC COLLAPSE....THE CITY WILL. I ALSO WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE A LOOK AT HOW PRIVATE DONATIONS TO 'PUBLIC' CHARTERS ARE HAVING SUCH A DISTORTED AFFECT ON OUR SCHOOLS ALREADY.
JOHNS HOPKINS HAS ITS OWN 'PUBLIC' SCHOOL NAMED DUNBAR HIGH SCHOOL. WELL, UNDER ARMOUR, OUR BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATION GETTING ALL KINDS OF TAX BREAKS AND GRANTS FOR BUILDING IN BALTIMORE DECIDES IT WILL MAKE A CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION BY DONATING THE MONEY TO RESTORE HOPKINS' DUNBAR FOOTBALL STADIUM WITHOUT TELLING HOW MUCH MONEY WAS INVOLVED. (THINK OF A TEXAS MOGUL WHO DID THE SAME FOR A TEXAS 'PUBLIC' SCHOOL.
NOW, BALTIMORE IS FULL OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS NOT HAVING A SCRAP OF ATHLETIC GEAR.....ATHLETIC COURTS......OR ATHLETIC TEAMS......ESPECIALLY AT THE LOWER GRADES WHEN IT IS SO IMPORTANT. THE COST OF THAT FOOTBALL FIELD WOULD HAVE FUNDED MUCH OF THAT ATHLETIC STUFF FOR ALL THE CITY'S SCHOOLS. IF THAT MONEY WAS PAID AS TAXES RATHER THAN AS A 'GIFT'......THAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. WE DO NOT GIVE 'GIFTS' TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS....MONEY IS SHARED EQUALLY!
WE DON'T WANT CORPORATE PATRONAGE.....WE WANT GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENS PAYING TAXES!!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Under Armour helps refurbish Baltimore High School stadium
BALTIMORE - The varsity football team at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore is preparing to play home games for the first time in years.
The reigning state Division 1A champs will play against crosstown rival Carver Vocational-Technical High School on a newly refurbished turf field on Oct 26 thanks to a gift from Baltimore-based sportswear giant Under Armour Inc.
Lawrence Smith, Dunbar's varsity football coach, says the team has only played on the dilapidated field for homecoming in recent years.
Amy Larkin, Under Armour's vice president of culture, says the company's 1,200 local employees have contributed close to 500 hours working on the Dunbar project.
She declined to reveal the cost of Under Armour's upgrades to the stadium and school campus.
Copyright Associated Press
BELOW YOU SEE WHAT I CALL A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS. THE GENERAL PUBLIC NEEDING AND WANTING ATTENTION TO THEIR SCHOOLS ARE BEING SIDE-TRACKED BY AN ALONZO WALL STREET FINANCIAL SCHEME AND NEVER ONCE ASK THE QUESTION.......'WHY DON'T WE YELL AT THE MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL GANSLER ABOUT BRINGING HOME BILLIONS IN FINANCIAL FRAUD STILL WAITING TO BE COLLECTED'? WHAT THESE 'LEADERS' IN THIS EFFORT ARE DOING IS PLACING THE CITY AND PUBLIC INTO YET ANOTHER WALL STREET DEAL IN WHICH THE PEOPLE WILL LOSE BIG.
EVERYONE READING MY BLOG KNOWS MY OPINION OF THE BALTIMORE EDUCATION COALITION (BEC) REFERENCED BELOW.
Wavering because of audit, school advocates say, means “turning your back on our kids” Education Coalition girds for school construction funding battle in Annapolis
Fern Shen October 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm Baltimore Brew
Baltimore’s dilapidated school buildings “lie about who our children are,” advocates said, at a rally last night.
As speakers rallied the troops with a familiar call to action – push Annapolis to approve a $32 million block grant to ultimately leverage more than $2 billion needed – students underlined the message with fresh tales from their crumbling schools.
“On one of those days recently when we had a lot of rain, the stairwells and the band room were flooded with water,” said Naim Smith, an eighth-grader at KIPP Ujima Village Academy in West Baltimore. “Our first band rehearsal was canceled.”
Rally held in Barclay Elementary School calling for a city school construction plan that is not “a band-aid approach.” (Photo by Fern Shen)
But along with the descriptions of rodents in the halls and freezing-cold or stifling-hot classrooms, school advocates had to contend with some other troubling images, emanating from a recently-released city schools audit:
Millions of dollars paid out in questionable overtime, sick leave and vacation pay going to teachers and administrators who may not have been entitled to it, millions more in unpaid bills that were never referred to a collection agency, millions of dollars in unverified payments for academic and maintenance work the district contracted.
Cascade of Criticism
The damning audit (first reported in the Baltimore Sun) and other reports (including district-paid meals at pricey restaurants and clubs and a $264 lunch for students at Hooter’s) are causing major heartburn for advocates whose campaign on behalf of Baltimore public school students stretches back many years.
The Mayor speaking earlier this year in support of the bottle tax, with schools chief Andres Alonso, right, listening. (Photo by Fern Shen)
A stern Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake publicly warned city schools CEO Andrés Alonso to correct the problems “immediately,” City Councilman Carl Stokes was on the radio last night railing about “accountability,” and state lawmakers are saying the waste, fraud and lack of oversight permitted by North Avenue will make an already-hard campaign in Annapolis that much harder. Alonso, on the defensive, issued a statement to the media.
On Monday, two leaders of the school construction effort fired back on the issue in a Baltimore Sun op-ed, acknowledging that the waste outlined in the audit is “unacceptable” but chiding public officials for using it as an excuse to abandon the cause.
“What angers us in the current debate is how quickly the needs of our children are lost to the selfish politics of the moment,” wrote Rev. Glenna Reed Huber and Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, clergy co-chairs of BUILD, Baltimoreans United for Leadership Development.
Huber and Connors suggest two approaches to better ensure accountability – creating a state chartered non-profit organization or establishing a new independent public authority to oversee school building repairs.
Del. Mary L. Washington, one of several state lawmakers who pledged to make the block grant their priority in Annapolis this year. (Photo by Fern Shen)
Last night’s speakers never explicitly brought up the audit and Alonso sent Chief Academic Officer Sonja Brookins Santelises in his place (“Dr. Alonso had a prior engagement,” organizers explained.) But in the lobby, a leader of the school construction campaign was primed for the question.
Lisa Quinones said that entities to provide accountability “could easily be set up,” following the models used in Greenville, South Carolina and other districts. Quinones, with Arica Gonzales, is an action co-chair of the Baltimore Education Coalition, the event’s organizer.
Quinones called it “an excuse” to give up on city students because adults aren’t managing their schools properly.
“If you’re backing down because of something you read in the newspaper,” Quinones said, “you’re backing away from our kids.”
“That’s Just Not Right”
Last night was all about rallying the base and getting public officials to agree to again take up the cause.
“These buildings have been lying about who you are for too long,” Gonzales said, as parents in the room pumped their fists in the air.
Martin Mason, Marqueo Jackson, Deneira Ray and Naim Smith, eighth-graders at KIPP Ujima Village Academy, attended last night’s rally. (Photo by Fern Shen)
Leon Pryor, a kindergarten teacher from Calvin Rodwell Elementary School, walked the group through the legislation, which would lock in existing capital funding for city school construction and allocate $32 million to be used as annual payments on a larger loan. Projected on the screen was recently-renovated Leith Walk Elementary, which invited the media to come in last month and see how such schools could look.
“We want to have several Leith Walks allover the city every year,” Pryor said.
City and state lawmakers came to support the effort, among them city council members Mary Pat Clark and Bill Henry, school board members David Stone and Robert Heck, and state legislators Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, Mary L. Washington, Joan Carter Conway, Curtis S. Anderson and Verna L. Jones-Rodwell.
State Senator William C. Ferguson IV, a former city school teacher, was one of many who recalled their own experiences in shabby city school buildings: “My classroom didn’t have a doorknob and I had to carry around scissors in my pocket to open and close the door.”
Organizers reminded the audience to prepare for a a march they hope will reach 3,000 in Annapolis during the coming 2013 legislative session. As the crowd filed out, KIPP Ujima eighth graders said they plan to attend the Annapolis rally.
“I don’t want to be in some rusty old school,” said Deneira Ray, of Park Heights, who wrinkled her nose as she told about mice, stuck sink faucets and other problems at her school. “Sometimes during the winter, it’s really cold. That’s just not right.”
CONVERSATION OVER BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL BUILDING FUNDING
Cwals99 I'm not sure to what plan they are referring, but if it is the billion dollar Wall Street financial instrument that gives the banks ownership of public schools for 30 years, then the average person does not understand the repercussions of this policy. We just experienced a massive financial mortgage fraud, we are still seeing fraud continuing, and all financial analysts say that fraud is systemic in the financial industry. The banks have only profit as a motive. Each time we enter into an agreement, especially with these complex instruments, the city and the public loses big. We do not want a public school system that is built on Wall Street debt.
First, Wall Street still owes the State of Maryland billions from the mortgage fraud. The $25 billion settlement was only an interest payment on that fraud debt. Getting that money from the banks would build these schools. Why would you enter a new deal to pay all kinds of money in interest with a business that owes you billions in criminal penalty?
Second, as all people who follow economics knows the US is heading for another massive financial collapse in the near future. Politicians have allowed the banks to leverage themselves back to $600 trillion just as they were before the collapse only now the US has $14 trillion in debt and the European Union is entering a depression. The banks know that municipal debt will bring all kinds of public assets to them if/when this collapse happens. Your politicians know it too, just as they knew the 2008 collapse was coming because of the mortgage fraud.
Cwals99 I would also like to point out that the Baltimore Education Coalition is primarily a charter school organization and for those who see charters as a step towards public education privatization, having Wall Street own these public schools fits nicely with that goal.
Wickerman0 The block grant comes from the state not Wallstreet. A little research would have yielded that fact instead of making assumptions
Tom Cwals99, I'm afraid you have your facts wrong. BEC is NOT primarily a charter school organization. It's made up of dozens of institutions, including public schools, churches, and many others. Please do your research about both BEC and the capital financing plan for the schools.
Cwals99 I beg to differ on the makeup of BEC....I'm quite familiar and the numbers aren't dozens. BUILD for example has many members but is only one organization on the committee. MEC supports charters, the ACLU supports charters, the private non-profits on the committee are mostly affiliated with Johns Hopkins which supports charters. The general public cannot attend a BEC meeting which calls into concern the public nature of the group and they call their policy approaches private
That was not the point I was making.....it had to do with the financial instrument being used in the build. I read the proposal for Alonzo's plan.....and again, I'm only assuming that is the plan referred to here.....and it specifically references the same leveraging deal done in Georgia a decade ago. You are referring to a block grant that represents only a small piece of the entire, complex instrument. I believe my description is accurate.
I want to emphasize I am all for the school rebuild, but as I said, why do it through leveraged bonds when you simply need an Attorney General to bring billions in fraud back to Maryland.
From the Baltimore Sun opinion article "For Cities A Promising Vision":
What city officials and education advocates are proposing is this: A nonprofit or other third-party entity would sell a large sum of bonds and use the proceeds to engage in large-scale, systematic repair,
renovation and replacement of city schools. A construction program of sufficient magnitude would create economies of scale and would take advantage of historically low costs for borrowing, labor and materials.
To make that work, Mr. Alonso wants to allocate existing state and city funding streams for school construction and renovation, plus some new ones MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blakeis proposing, to the new entity in the form of a block grant, which would be used to pay off the bonds over 30 years. At current rates, $1 million in annual funding could support about $15 million in borrowing. The school system estimates that it
could raise as much as $1.1 billion in capital in the first phase of such an effort.
The mayor has expressed support for the general idea of allocating school construction funds in the form of a block grant, but she has not specifically embraced the notion of using existing city and state capital funds — themselves the product of general obligation bonds — to leverage additional borrowing. City Hall and the schools remain in discussions over the logistics, advisability and legality of such a plan.
NOW THIS IS HOW TO FUND PUBLIC SCHOOLS. COMMUNITIES MUST STEP UP AND DEMAND MORE SAY ON HOW SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED OR THESE CORPORATIONS WILL BE THE ONLY ONE DECIDING THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN , WHERE, AND HOW. THE MARYLAND BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE HAS O'MALLEY AND RAWLINGS-BLAKE'S EAR.......DO YOU?
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO TIE YOUR SCHOOLS TO 30 YEARS OF WALL STREET DEBT?
Guilford Elementary tries new, community approach to fundraising
"Traditional fundraisers depended solely on parents to raise the funds or sell the stuff, and it's a lot of pressure," said Shannon Franks, PTA president at the Columbia school. "This pulls in the community to help support the school, and we've been doing really well with it. There's a ton of stuff gone from the yard sale, and cars have been rolling in all morning."The event also included a toy and jewelry raffle and a food table with homemade baked goods, made by parents and teachers. More than two dozen tables were set up for the yard sale. Nearly all proceeds went directly to the school and PTA; if people did want to donate the money earned from their individual tables, the PTA charged $10 to have a table at the event.Lori Hall, a PTA member who is part of the fundraising team, said they hoped to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 from the event."Our initiative is a joint venture with the parents, and it's a true parent-teacher association," she said. "We were looking at the majority of fundraising catalogs, and we realized our families were putting out more money to fund raise than what was getting raised. It didn't make sense. This way, we can all be involved."So far, Franks said, others parents have responded positively to the idea of a fundraising day.But the morning wasn't just a fundraising affair — it was a community event as well."This is our first move to reach out to the community, and I think it's going fantastically," Hall said. "There's a changing dynamic to our school, since we lost a lot of families to redistricting, and we wanted to do something different to get the community involved as well."The school's neighbors started turning out for the event at 8 a.m., and a couple hundred people had come and gone within a few hours, Franks said. Getting the families out to interact with each other was a major factor in deciding to do the event."Last year, we were kind of out of sorts because of the redistricting," Franks said. "We had to find a way to rally. We wanted a creative way to pull in people from the community. ... Today, there's a lot more people meeting each other, meeting the teachers, and you just don't get that during the week."Chris Pearman, a second-grade teacher manning a yard-sale table, said it was nice to meet families from other grade levels."It's great to see the moms and dad and extended families come out," she said. "Seeing the kids in a different, social context is always nice."Dozens of students were on hand Saturday, helping sell cookies and lemonade, washing cars or just hanging out with their families.Fourth-grader Kristina McKirahan, for example, spent the morning helping her dad wash cars."I've been out here since 6 a.m., helping set up," said Kristina, 9. "I was the only kid. My legs are tired, but I helped wash at least three cars. ... I'm just helping whoever needs help. I even bought an apple pie for my mom."The fundraising day was much more fun, Kristina said, than trying to sell magazine subscriptions or candles to family members or neighbors."You could sell wrapping paper or do this, and I'm glad we did this," she said. "We're actually helping people who need their car washed."