February 2, 2009

Cuts to Maryland’s education budget have been delayed for the moment as the state waits to see whether the federal stimulus package will inject money into struggling school systems. But Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andres Alonso is still worried about how the system will fare in the current economic climate, and has sparred in recent weeks with Governor Martin O’Malley over the potential budget cuts. Dr. Alonso joined Marc in studio today to discuss how Baltimore’s students and teachers will weather these tough times.  

Joining the conversation were Matt Hornbeck, Principal of Hampstead Hill Academy, and Tisha Edwards, former Principal of the Baltimore Freedom Academy.

You can find Bob Embry’s op-ed discussing whether Maryland’s schools really are the best in the country on the Baltimore Sun website.


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.


  1. Lala Lita says:

    The schools are hoping that slots will bring in enough revenue, but no one has bidded enough to get the income of 600 million a year. The school system needs to budget and stop relying on slots that will increase crime and make the economy worse!

  2. kdfrick says:

    This is a long one….

    First, thanks for mentioning the Waldorf School of Baltimore in a show primarily about city public schools today.  I live in the city, work on a research project that places older adults in public elementary schools, attend church at a Catholic church that provides an education for many parents who want to avoid public but have no other financial options, and send my kids to the Waldorf School.  So, I get to see almost all settings discussed today with a variety of "lenses".

    I was intrigue by Dr. Alonso’s comment about the school "ecology" and trying to find ways to partner public and independent schools.  In this time of constrained resources it seems like a great idea.

    Also, I was surprised by the caller who was disappointed that the city schools did not have more than enough money despite the fact that she and her daughter in turn had paid to send their children to parochial schools.  While my wife and I don’t like paying any more taxes than necessary, we are very willing to support local public schools no matter where our children attend–it is a public good that is important and necessary for everyone and no one pays "specifically for their own kids".

    Finally, I got an email recently from a program I was in growing up in Pennsylvania.  The program was called the Governor’s Schools for Excellence.  While I would generally argue for more money for education at all levels and the program in PA is at risk of being cut, I have mixed feelings about how much I should contribute to encouraging my family back in PA to call attention to this.  I don’t remember many kids from poor families or poor schools.  The kids who attended had great resources at home.  While I would not say that the program added nothing to my education, I would have turned out okay (as I bet would every other kid in the science program I was in more than two decades ago) with or without this specific opportunity.  When all is said and done, families, counties, states, and the country have to make choices.  While we may argue for more for education and less for other things, sometimes we have to be careful to allocate more resources for kids who have no support at home or who are okay but not great students to bring them up and let those who will probably do well regardless of the resources available find other ways to enhance their own opportunities.  That is not a fun choice to have to ponder, but we do have to make those choices sometimes.

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