Baltimore City Public Schools students are calling on state lawmakers to support the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations.
Several students who rallied for funding in Annapolis Monday night said their future depends on it.
Baltimore City Public Schools students said they need access to technology, adequate textbooks and other tools that will set them up for success after graduation.
“People say that Black youth are the reason why the crime rate is so high, that the reason why we can’t fund our schools is because we don’t deserve it but at 5 o’clock on a Monday night on a cold, dark evening, you’re out here advocating for yourself,” said Adam Jackson, of the Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.
According to the commission chair, William Kirwan, fewer than 40% of the state’s high school graduates are deemed as not college and career ready.
“Going to a school like Bard, I’ve seen that I’ve been given opportunities for college and career readiness, but I want other Baltimore City schools to have that opportunity, as well, also for more diverse teachers,” organizer Ahnieyah Owens said.
Part of the Kirwan proposals call for stronger early child education programs, as well as a plan to attract and retain a more diverse teaching force.
The commission also wants the state to update its public schools funding formula.
“We don’t have access to computers, quality textbooks and most of my teachers don’t look like me,” one student said.
“In inner city schools, they either have no counselor or one counselor in a school full of 300 — sometimes 400 kids. How is this going to help the kids with their mental health that gets in the way of their schoolwork?” another student asked.
Students said their future depends on lawmakers supporting the recommendations.
“The students of Maryland are woke and demand the resources needed to be in a position to thrive in today’s economy,” a student said.
Students are planning on holding a town hall on the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations next week.