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Keeping tabs on the City Council's activities so you don't have to

By Daniel Haggerty | Posted 8/23/2006

On The Council Agenda July 10

Resolution 06-0203R Informational Hearing--Feasibility of School for Homeless and Immigrant Children

Requests that the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and the Office of Homeless Services report to the council on the feasibility of instituting a school for the city's homeless and immigrant children.

Public Interest Grade: B- The school would be modeled after the Yemin Orde school in Israel, which was founded to educate children displaced by the Holocaust. Since then, the Yemin Orde school has grown to house and educate more than 500 immigrant, orphaned, and homeless children from around the globe. Often-ignored young people, who Councilman Keiffer Mitchell (D-11th District) says tend to be "passed through the system," would benefit greatly from such an innovative educational institution. It's an interesting idea, but we do worry that it might stigmatize these children in a way that integrating them into the school system does not.

Resolution 06-0205R Request for State Legislation--Baltimore City Public Schools--Ending the City-State Partnership Requests that the city's Senate and House delegations introduce legislation to dissolve the city-state partnership that controls the Baltimore City Public School System and return direct control of the schools to the mayor and City Council.

Public Interest Grade: B- Introduced by Councilman Mitchell, citing a "pervasive lack of accountability" in the current administrative structure, the new plan would include a city education "czar" appointed by the mayor. Running our own schools is not a novel concept. We just hope that, if the schools are returned to city control, the folks at the top are up to the task.

City Council Quote of the Week

"When everyone is in charge, no one is accountable."

--City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (D-14th) on the failure of the city-state partnership that runs the city school system.

City Council Fact of the Week

Council Vice President Stephanie Rawlings Blake (D-6th) presided over the Aug. 14 City Council meeting. According to City Council Rule 4-2(a), "In the absence of the President, the Vice-President presides at Council meetings." Rule 4-2(b) further explains, "In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, a majority of the Councilmembers present at a meeting may designate a temporary president to preside at that meeting."

The next meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.

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