Thursday, April 12, 2012


I recently read an article addressing the approaching “Maryland Doomsday Budget” which if passed would require $512 million worth of budget cuts to schools and state programs.  Granted, this large amount of money would be detrimental to many programs that are present and quite possibly effective.  But just for kicks, I feel that it would be interesting to play devils advocate to this issue. 

I am most curious as to how effective the district’s spending has been in the past years.  With evidence of misspending surfacing, (such as the $14 million in overtime spending to city schools employees, $154 thousand of which went to Dr. Alonso’s PRIVATE DRIVER), could a budget cut of this magnitude force the district to refine its spending?  Furthermore, with the control of individual school budgets being in the hands of principals who may not have any background in business or financial education, are the individual school budgets subject to misspending as well?  I routinely am reminded of this as I enter my school that has invested thousands of dollars in SmartBoard technology which, with the exception of a few teachers, is vastly under-utilized.  How many more “resources” has this district invested in which are either not used, or do not improve the quality of education for our students?

I would be curious to see Baltimore City School’s contingency plan addressing the fact that this budget cut may be passed.  Would they search to remove frivolous spending? (*cough *cough A private driver for our fearless superintendent?) Or would the cuts truly effect the quality of education in this district?

1 comment:

sohaskia said...


Dr. Alonso thought it would be best to switch autonomy towards the principals. In turn, this would allow principals to truly provide the supplies and materials their school would have needed. After all, each school has different needs. However, when you place hundreds of thousands of dollars into the hands of individuals with no fiscal background, one runs the risk of money mismanagement. Such is the case in Baltimore City.

I agree that more accountability needs to be placed on the resources that are provided and teachers need to utilize the tools provided to them. Without these systems in place, the mismanagement of money will continue.

By implementing a doomsday budget, programs and services will be cut, but what will remain are the crucial elements of what makes a school building run, and I feel that is where principals are lacking. They are so consumed about the new gadgets, that they overlook what really needs to be done to make a school function. With limited funds, they would be forced to look through that lens again.