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Alonso thinking big on school facilities

Baltimore schools Superintendent Andres Alonzo makes the case for alternative financing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. On left is Attorney Paul D. Shelton, and on right is Robert Heck, school board commissioner. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 24, 2012)

Baltimore schools Superintendent Andres Alonzo makes the case for alternative financing before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. On left is Attorney Paul D. Shelton, and on right is Robert Heck, school board commissioner. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / January 24, 2012)

From the Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore City’s schools chief told state legislators Tuesday that he hopes to borrow $1.2 billion— six times more than the school system’s current bonding authority — to pay for a massive and rapid overhaul of the city’s crumbling public school buildings.

“What is unique is the extent of the need in Baltimore City,” said Andrés Alonso, the school system’s CEO, ticking off a list of problems from faulty heating systems to broken windows. “This will allow us to really target, in a short period of time, huge systemic needs.”

Alonso told members of the Senate‘s Budget and Taxation committee that such a plan could save the city time and money by combining the needed repairs into a single construction initiative and that work would begin as soon as funding becomes available
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Texas school system cancels sports to use funds for academics

The Premont ISD announced that it is cancelling its sports programs to save money and focus on academics, a move that will divert a reported $100,000 that will be used to fund two required new science labs, some needed repairs, and potentially be used to recruit highly qualified instructors, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times.

“Our urgent situation requires swift and drastic action,” Superintendent Ernest Singleton told the Caller Times. After an agreement between the state and school trustees last week that kept the system open, he warned that he would make tough and unpopular choices to meet the education agencies demands. Continue Reading →

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Prison vs. Princeton: A look at the cost of jail vs. the cost of education

The Atlantic has a very interesting chart up that compares some statistics regarding education against some about our prisons. As has been well documented in various media outlets, the United States has a higher precentage of our population in prison than anywhere else in the world. But we’re only the sixth-highest for higher education.

With all of the discussion surrounding the achievement gap, this graph is a striking look at just how wide the gap is from a certain perspective.

Read the full article here, the graphic is posted below.

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