It's Midday on Education: School children in Baltimore City and around the state returned to their classrooms last week. Some kids in the City and in Baltimore County couldn’t go to school, or they were dismissed early on a few days because their classrooms weren’t air conditioned. Others formed the first classes in brand new, state of the art buildings, constructed under the 21st Century Schools program.
The budget for the current year did not call for any teacher layoffs. It did target literacy coaching as a priority, and it does includes some cuts for Charter Schools. Unlike school systems in some of the adjacent counties, Baltimore City Public Schools has faced shrinking enrollment for many years, a persistent problem that speaks to the larger challenges of the city in attracting and keeping young families.
Declining enrollment, of course, affects funding. Changing the formula for how schools are funded is one of the mandates of the Kirwan Commission, which is expected to release its long awaited final report this month, or early next month.