• Governor Says No to $11mil for Education, Yes to $30 mil for Children’s Prison in Baltimore

    June 4, 2015 // 3 Comments »

    Larry_Hogan

    Maryland governor Larry Hogan was elected to make the tough choices. In this case, to spend less taxpayer money on schools, and more on prisons for underage offenders from Baltimore.



    Not for Schools

    These good deeds began after Maryland’s state legislature earmarked $68 million for education, $11 million of which was tagged for troubled Baltimore city schools alone. Governor Hogan, however, on his own just cold labeled the money “extra money” and shoved it into the state’s underfunded pension funds, saying “it would be irresponsible not to, and it will not happen on my watch.”

    “Given how the needs of our children have been highlighted by the events of the past few weeks, I hoped that the governor would have agreed with the General Assembly that these dollars are critical for expanded educational opportunities,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, supported by the teachers union, said in a statement.

    Hogan accused the teachers union of launching “a heavily financed smear campaign” against him.

    Money for Youth Prison

    The now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t education money was part of about $200 million lawmakers set aside for their top priorities: school funding, preventing a pay cut for state workers and paying for a range of health-care initiatives that include Medicaid coverage for more pregnant women and funding for heroin addiction.

    Governor Larry Hogan, in addition to cutting out that $11 large directly from education funding, also made the tough choice to spend $30 million on a 60-bed jail for Baltimore teenagers who have been charged as adults.

    And who but Larry Hogan, the guy who declared a state of emergency and used the National Guard to place Baltimore under siege following the police murder of Freddie Gray, would know more about Baltimore’s need to lock up more kids?



    Youth Prison Even Needed?

    Actually, Larry Hogan knows very little about Baltimore’s need to lock up more kids. The city’s rate of youths jailed as adults dropped in recent years. State officials said in March that the city detention center holds fewer than 20 minors on any given day.

    But don’t think Larry Hogan isn’t for education:

    A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which runs the jails, said even though the number of youngsters who would use the youth jail facility has declined, his “department is committed to housing juveniles charged as adults in a new building that will include classrooms, program space, and medical and recreation areas. It’s a facility that’s vastly superior to the current location.”

    See how great that is? Rather than providing for better schools that holdout at least the possibility of reducing youth crime, Governor Larry Hogan will instead create more classrooms inside jails.

    BONUS: Hogan’s campaign slogan was “Change Maryland.”



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