BALTIMORE CITY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

EDUCATION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Auditorium ceiling, Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland]

Auditorium ceiling, Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


[photo, Male Grammar School no. 1, 520 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland] The public school system in Baltimore City began in 1829 when three grammar schools were organized. Male Grammar School no. 1 formed in 1829, meeting in the basement of the Presbyterian Church on Eutaw Street near Mulberry Street. In 1832, it moved to the northeast corner of Greene and Fayette Streets. Male and Female Grammar Schools no. 2 opened in 1829 in a frame house at Fells Point on Bond Street between Canton Avenue and Aliceanna Street.

By 1855, Baltimore had organized primary, grammar (intermediate) and high schools (Report of Commissioners of Public Schools, 1855). Night schools also were organized "for the reception of young mechanics, tradesmen, and others, who might wish to devote their evenings to the acquirement of such elementary branches of learning as are necessary in the transaction of ordinary business." A "Floating School, for the education of boys destined for nautical life" had been authorized by the City Council in 1854, but monies still had to be collected for "the purchase of a ship with the necessary appurtenances." Prior to 1867, no provision was made for the public education of African Americans, and thereafter only a system of segregated schools was provided. Not until September 1954 did Baltimore begin to desegregate its schools.

Male Grammar School no. 1, 520 West Fayette St., Baltimore, Maryland, August 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Western High School, 4600 Falls Road, Baltimore, Maryland] Under the Department of Education are 160 schools as of October 2018. These include 21 high schools, 12 intermediate schools, 6 middle schools, 115 elementary schools, as well as 36 charter schools, 5 contract/transformational schools, and 6 other schools, among them vocational and special schools. In Fiscal Year 2016, some 83,666 students were enrolled full-time in the City's public schools.


Western High School, 4600 Falls Road, Baltimore, Maryland, September 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


In Baltimore City, the Department of Education is headed by the Board of School Commissioners (City Charter, Art. VII, secs. 59-64).

BOARD OF SCHOOL COMMISSIONERS
The Board of School Commissioners is responsible for the management of the Baltimore City Public School System. The Board determines educational policy for the Department of Education, provides forums at which residents of the City may express their views about educational policy and decision-making, and submits the annual budget for the Department. The Board also confirms or rejects all nominations by the Superintendent of principals, teachers, supervisors, directors, and other professional employees. Specifications for all educational supplies and equipment used by the Department are determined by the Board.


[photo, Margaret Brent Elementary School, 100 East 26th St., Baltimore, Maryland] Plans and specifications for school buildings, including changes in plans and specifications, are prepared under the direction of and approved by the Board. Moreover, the Board also has authority to select school sites. In addition, the Board has charge of the transportation of pupils; the maintenance and operation of vehicles and equipment used for such purposes; and the care, storage, and distribution of supplies and equipment used by the Department.


Margaret Brent Elementary School, 100 East 26th St., Baltimore, Maryland, July 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Board of School Commissioners consists of nine members appointed by the Mayor to four-year terms from a list of qualified candidates recommended by the Baltimore City Public School Board Community Panel (City Charter, Art. VII, secs. 59-64; Chapter 593, Acts of 2017; Code Education Article, sec. 3-108.1). Also, to serve on the Board, a student member wth restricted voting rights is selected annually by the Associated Student Congress of Baltimore City (Code Education Article, sec. 3-108.1). Beginning with the general election of 2022, the Board will add two at-large elected members each to serve a four-year term (Chapter 723, Acts of 2016; Code Education Article, sec. 3-108.1).

BALTIMORE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE


ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY

[photo, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland] The Enoch Pratt Free Library was offered as a gift to Baltimore City in 1882 by philanthropist Enoch Pratt (Chapter 181, Acts of 1882; Baltimore City Council Ordinance no. 106 of 1882). On January 5, 1886, a central library opened on Mulberry Street along with four branch libraries. In 1933, the central library moved to its present location.


Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2007. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


[photo, Light Street Branch Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1251 Light St., Baltimore, Maryland] Today, with the central library located on Cathedral Street, the Pratt Center for Technology on Orleans Street, and the Regional Information Center on Boston Street, twenty-one branch libraries serve the City. Branch libraries include: Brooklyn (1921); Canton (1886); Cherry Hill (1951); Clifton (1916); Edmundson Avenue (1952); Forest Park (1910); Govans (1921); Hamilton (1920); Hampden (1900); Herring Run (1963); Light Street (1886); Northwood (1960); Orleans Street (2007; formerly Broadway, 1888); Patterson Park (1910); Pennsylvania Avenue (1953); Reisterstown Road (1967); Roland Park (1924); Southeast Anchor (2007); Walbrook (1957); Washington Village (1991); and Waverly (1971).

Light Street Branch Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 1251 Light St., Baltimore, Maryland, June 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


STATE LIBRARY RESOURCE CENTER
In 1971, the Central Library of the Enoch Pratt Free Library System was designated as the State Library Resource Center (Chapter 770, Acts of 1971). The Center lends books and other materials to libraries in the State Library Network from sources within Maryland and out of State via the Maryland Interlibrary Organization. It also provides information to State government through the Government Reference Service (Code Education Article, sec. 23-201).

The Center administers Sailor, Maryland's online electronic information network. Overseen by the Division of Library Development and Services of the State Department of Education in conjunction with the Center, Sailor connects Marylanders to information resources within the State and worldwide. It also provides access to Internet resources. Sailor allows users to identify and locate books; articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals; answers to specific questions; or information on a particular topic. It gives information about services of public and private agencies; and government information, such as proposed legislation, job listings, and census data. In all twenty-three counties and Baltimore City, Sailor is available without charge through libraries and by dial access on modem-equipped computers.

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