Daniels and Peterson: Strong K-12 schools crucial to Baltimore's success
Hopkins leaders author letter to the editor addressing school system's $130M budget gap
Baltimore needs strong schools, and city schools CEO Sonja Santelises and her team need support as they work on "smart, targeted and creative solutions," Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Johns Hopkins Health System President Ronald R. Peterson write in a letter published today in The Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore's school system is faced with a $130 million budget shortfall, but Daniels and Peterson caution that the debate over that gap and how to close it should not overshadow an important consensus: "Public education is at the heart of a healthy city, and a healthy city is better for all of us—families, neighborhoods, businesses and anchor institutions, like ours."
Daniels and Peterson were finalists for The Sun's annual Marylander of the Year distinction in 2015 and 2016 for their efforts to improve Baltimore's communities and the economic prospects of city residents. Johns Hopkins' recent involvement with city schools include a STEM pipeline partnership with Paul Laurence Dunbar High School via Maryland's nascent P-TECH program and a multimillion commitment to Barclay Elementary/Middle School to spark higher achievement and prepare students for 21st-century careers.
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We know BCPS must right-size its budget to respond to enrollment trends and capital needs. But sudden, dramatic, and across-the-board budget cuts will move us in the wrong direction at a critical time for Baltimore. We need rational budgeting, strategic investments and transition assistance, over several years, to protect the system's core assets and set a foundation for the future.
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