Rebuilding schools to revitalize neighborhoods: Next big trend?

Throughout Baltimore, Maryland, there is a wealth of dedicated individuals and organizations in both public and private sectors working hard to restore and revive communities.

Yet the social and economic problems of the inner city persist with such tenacity that it begs the question: How can our work be done more effectively? What more needs to be done to affect lasting change?

The challenges faced by Baltimore’s inner city neighborhoods are comprehensive, encompassing everything from education to joblessness, from public safety to public health. To improve the health and welfare of communities, we need a strategy that is equally comprehensive, coordinating all the tools available to form complete interventions.

Such a strategy would need to be implemented at an unprecedented scale, one that is city-wide yet tailored to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each neighborhood. Admittedly, the prospect of creating such a large scale initiative is daunting.

But thankfully, there is already a far-reaching program that touches upon many of Baltimore’s hardest hit neighborhoods: the 21st Century Schools Building Plan. The funding for the plan to rebuild dozens of schools in the next several years is a landmark victory for Baltimore that instills hope that positive outcomes for all city students is possible.

[Photo by John Makely, Baltimore Sun]

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