Education A National Roundup

Judge Orders Tally of Costs to Improve Baltimore Schools

By Lesli A. Maxwell — May 23, 2006 1 min read

A state circuit court judge last week ordered school officials from Baltimore and the Maryland Department of Education to spell out how much it will cost the school district to implement a series of state-imposed mandates to improve low-performing schools.

A lawyer for the district told Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan that complying with the state’s reform requirements would cost between $30 million and $40 million, according to The Baltimore Sun. State education officials did not offer an estimate.

Judge Kaplan, who is overseeing a long-running school funding suit involving the 85,000-student district, ordered both parties to present him with a full accounting of costs within 60 days.

In March, state education officials voted to seize control of 11 of Baltimore’s lowest-performing schools and also ordered a menu of “corrective actions” that includes adopting a new curriculum in middle and high schools for core subjects that are tested on the Maryland High School Assessments. Though state lawmakers voted to halt the takeover for at least one year, Baltimore school officials still must comply with other reforms mandated by the state board.

A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week