Resources & Their Allocation

One of the themes that we heard consistently was that schools are under-funded and poorly resourced.  Participants commented on how schools do not have the funding to provide materials to students that are critical for success, such as updated technology and books.  Further, schools operate under the constant threat of budget shortfalls, which hampers their ability to plan effectively.  Finally, we heard from parents, and educators directly, about how schools being under-resourced leads to many teachers buying supplies for their classrooms and students with their own funds.

Participants also shared their belief that resources are not spread evenly, both within the city, and in comparison to other counties.  A participant from Patterson Park sums up the sentiment in the following: “There is no consistency with Baltimore City Schools.  Some of the schools are excellent, with great enrichment programs, [an] abundance of resources, while other seem as though they are abandoned.” Participants also commented on the general lack of school resources in Baltimore City in comparison to other districts (Baltimore County was mentioned frequently).

Many participants also commented on examples of poor management of finances and expressed frustration that too little funding actually reaches the students.  Respondents spoke about corruption in the school district, funds disappearing, and misspent dollars through contracts that are not publicly bid.  There were calls for more oversight regarding finances, and additional transparency, especially regarding school budgets.

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