As part of our Raise our Youth Raise our City Campaign, BUILD is calling on the Mayoral candidates to invest in addressing the $2.8 billion need for school construction. This is a must to Raise our Youth Raise our City. Last Spring, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a public commitment to address this need. She appointed a Task Force to develop a plan to finance school construction. The Task Force was supposed to release its findings in Feb.. No report has been released.
On Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she will dedicate 90% of the revenue from slots to lowering property taxes with only 10% of the revenue dedicated for school construction. The Mayor explained her decision by saying she committed tax reduction as the primary use of slots revenue.
The estimated annual revenue from slots is about $15 million. Using slots revenue for tax reduction would reduce homeowner taxes by only $3-$6 per month. $15 million can leverage $230 million now in bond funding to build 10 state of the art elementary schools. New schools would help educate our children and would help grow our city by attracting new residents and retain existing residents.
The Mayor could have kept both of her public commitments by at least dividing the revenue 50-50 among school construction and property tax reduction.
1. CALL Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at 410-396-3835.
2. EMAIL her through her Director of Communications, Ryan O’Doherty at email@example.com.
3. WRITE a Letter to the Editor to the Sun – firstname.lastname@example.org (Keep it short! 250-300 words max!)
Some Talking Points – Please make it personal and feel free to adapt:
*My name is ______. I am a member of BUILD. (Say how you feel that the Mayor invested slots revenue to decrease your taxes by $3 to $6 a month versus generating $230 million now to build 10 new elementary schools.) You kept your commitment to reducing taxes. I am calling on you to keep your commitment to our schools and children. What new funding source are you going to dedicate to school construction to keep your commitment to address the $2.8 billion need in school construction.
* 70% of our schools are falling apart; they’re unhealthy, unsafe, and not equipped to support high quality academic programs. * Hurts student achievement, Hurts teacher retention, Hurts every neighborhood in the city. * This is completely unacceptable and we need a plan to fix this crisis if we’re serious about education in this city, and rebuilding our neighborhoods