The Problem


Campaign Wins $1 Billion But More Needed!

Baltimore City school facilities are in a severe state of disrepair due to decades of underfunding. While our campaign has secured approximately $1 billion for the City Schools' 21st Century Buildings Program, it is estimated that up to 28 schools can be fully rebuilt or renovated with these funds by the end of 2020. There are still more than 100 city school buildings that need to be addressed. We will continue fighting for safe, healthy, and modern school buildings for every child, teacher, family, and neighborhood!  


Decades of research has shown unequivocally that deficient school buildings have a negative impact on student achievement.  Despite this reality, city school students have shown significant academic improvement over the past 5 years. It is time that the buildings reflect the spirit and value of the children learning inside them each day. In order to accomplish this goal, Baltimore City Schools commissioned a thorough assessment of all its buildings in the summer of 2010. The so called "Jacobs Report" was released in the summer of 2012 and contained a wealth of information about City School buildings. Jacobs assigned the overall grade of "F" to city school buildings based on their physical condition and ability to support high quality academic programs.  This report also estimated that it would cost $2.4 billion to correct the deficiencies and bring city school buildings to modern standards.

In 2013, the Transform Baltimore campaign won House Bill 860, which is estimated to generate $1 billion to fully renovate and rebuild up to 28 school buildings. This represents Phase I of the city school construction plan. Currently, funding has not been secured to address the 100+ school buildings that will not be addressed in Phase I.  Our campaign will be working to secure funding for Phase II to ensure that the program continues.  

Jacob's Report Highlights:

Inventory and Age: 

  • 162 school buildings, assessment includes non-city owned schools and charters 
  • 23% were built prior to 1946 
  • 74% were built between 1946 and 1985
  • 3% were built since 1985 - most of which were portables and modulars 
  • There are currently 61 modular/portable classrooms 

Physical Condition:

  • 69% rated "Very Poor"
  • 16% rated "Poor"
  • 13% rated "Average"
  • 2% rated "Good" or "Best"

Educational Adequacy:

  • Jacob's evaluated each facility's ability to support instruction and educational mission
  • The categories considered were: Instructional support, technology, security and supervision, capacity, support for programs, physical characteristics, learning environment, and relationship of spaces.
  • Average educational adequacy score for Baltimore City School facilities = 55 (Failing grade)


The Traditional Funding System is Broken:

Prior to the passage of HB860 in 2013 - based on Transform Baltimore's financing proposal - the State and City funded school construction projects in the City on a project-by-project basis at an amount too small to make a dent in the need across the city. The traditional way of funding school building improvements led to a "bandaid-approach," which only allowed for small patch up work to keep school buildings minimally functional. This means that several city schools might receive a new roof, some windows, and maybe a new heating system or two each year.  However, most city school buildings as a whole are falling into more disrepair each year. Our financing proposal allows the city and state to invest funding in a way that leverages large amounts of money up front to fully rebuild and renovate buildings in a short period of time. Read more on the Solutions page to find out how this works!

Our campaign's big $1 billion win is estimated to rebuild or fully renovate 28 schools. However, there are 100+ city school buildings that are still dependent on the traditional funding system to remain minimally functional for children. We need more funding for the new program to ensure that all city school buildings are fully rebuilt or renovated.  

Click here to view more pictures of Baltimore City Schools like the ones below!