Defending the Indefensible

Outrageous situations call for bold measures to be taken. The members of the Baltimore City Board of Education should resign along with members of the Baltimore City Council.

It is not enough that they have failed to properly straighten out the 10 year chaotic deterioration of the public school education system. And now we witness their failure to properly ensure the safety and welfare of students attending Baltimore City public schools as evidenced by the deplorable heating conditions endured by students in the winter and the terrible cooling system in the spring and summer.

While Governor Hogan is attributing the problems to mismanagement and Mayor Pugh is pointing to insufficient funds for the problems, the students and parents are caught in the middle – they are the innocent victims suffering from the unforgivable mistakes of Governor Hogan, Mayor Pugh, and the school officials.

The school board heard the distress of parents and teachers alike at their school board meeting on January 9th. Now they are planning for a town hall meeting to be held on January 22nd – 2 weeks away – just more delay – more time for school officials to come up with band-aid explanations that will only make a small, if any, dent in a massive crisis. For Mayor Pugh to say that Baltimore is not the only place that has suffered is an unacceptable excuse. Furthermore, the 9 million dollars that Governor Hogan is giving to the city to get the heat back on represents a step that is after the fact. The dire circumstances in the city schools should never have been allowed to reach this breaking point in the first place.

One thing is certain – The disastrous quality of the education system and the horrifying environment in which students have to learn are problems that need to be resolved now – not with a lot of rhetoric – but workable measures that will make a REAL POSITIVE difference in the lives of Baltimore City people – young and old alike. The City Council and the General Assembly along with the mayor and the governor need to act now. Stop pointing the finger at one another; just “fix the problem.” If they are not capable of doing this, then all of these career politicians need to be voted out of office.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher and Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election


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