From Front Door to Schoolhouse Door Baltimore City Council Public Hearing About Baltimore Students’ Experience with MTA
On Thursday, December 16th the Baltimore City Council held a virtual, public hearing about City Schools student transportation on MDOT MTA transit, featuring testimony from Baltimore students. Participating in the hearing were representatives from Baltimore City Public Schools and MDOT MTA; educators from Baltimoreans for Educational Equity sharing their perspectives; and the Fund for Educational Excellence presenting analysis, findings, and recommendations from our recent report Not In Service: Why Public Transit Must Aim to Serve Students.
While students make up an estimated 18% of MTA ridership their needs have not been adequately taken into account when it comes to determining service provided and prioritized by the MTA. Students, family members, and educators testified about personal safety and unreliable service and how those impact educational experiences. Students expressed that unreliable public transit prolongs commute time to and from school, often causing students to lose valuable in-class learning time due to frequent delays; limits their ability to partake in extracurricular activities after school; and sometimes places their safety at risk. During the hearing, MTA Administrator Holly Arnold committed to developing and rolling out an anti-harassment campaign in and around transit in 2022 – a key recommendation from our report, Not In Service. Additionally, MTA will establish an MTA Student Advisory Committee next year to ensure that student voice and perspective are incorporated into MTA’s service and capital planning.
For an overview of the public hearing, be sure to check out:
- WMAR-2 News coverage: Baltimore City Council committee holds meeting to hear student experiences riding MTA buses to school
- Check out some of the Twitter coverage from the Fund, Baltimoreans for Educational Equity, and Melissa Schober.
Heart of the School Holiday Celebration
On Thursday, December 16th, more than 350 Baltimore City Public School principals, district leaders, school staff, and partners gathered at M&T Bank Stadium to celebrate their work and the holiday season at the Heart of the School Holiday Celebration. It was a fantastic evening, packed with wonderful food and drink, entertainment and dancing – all to give school leaders an opportunity to relax, refresh, and have fun – and all compliments of Heart of the Schools!
Check out a few photos of the evening, below, and find more photos here:
School Choice Resources
Families of Baltimore City Public Schools 5th and 8th graders can complete and submit their School Choice applications now through January 21st. With School Choice season in full swing, the Fund is sharing a suite of resources to help students and families more easily navigate the choice process, including: a find your fit chart, a how-to navigate City Schools’ school finder tool instructional video, Spanish and English School Choice webinar recordings and a list of open house and shadow dates. Find these school choice tools at https://ffee.org/accelerate-solutions/school-choice-workshops/.
2022 Heart of the School Award Nominations Open January 1st
Mark your calendars! 2022 Heart of the School Award principal nominations open Saturday, January 1, 2022 and accept submissions the entire month of January.
Anyone – student, parent, school staff, community member or organizational leader – can nominate a principal they would like to see honored at the Heart of the School Awards – the annual event coordinated by the Fund for Educational Excellence that celebrates Baltimore City Public School principals each May for their tireless work on behalf of students and families. Award criteria and details on the quick nomination process can be found, here. Spread the word!
Additional insights, updates and resources:
- Check out Baltimore City Public Schools’ new Tutoring Resource Hub, here.
- Baltimore City Public Schools seniors: Apply now for $3 million in scholarships and grants for college through the College Bound Foundation! Apply by March 1st for scholarships and June 1st for Last Dollar Grant funding. Don’t wait, start your application today, here.
- Check out Baltimore City Public Schools’ school choice video playlist for information on sports, trades, academics, and more, here.