Effect of Coronavirus on Baltimore City Schools

Posted at 10:08 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 07:27:17-04

BALTIMORE — All Maryland public schools will shut down on Monday, and they won't reopen until at least March 27.

In Baltimore Citym, staff is being asked to come in Friday to rush and create learning packets for students.

WMAR-2 News Eddie Kadhim was interviewing Baltimore Teachers Union Middle School Vice President Zach Taylor when Governor Hogan announced the closure.

Taylor said continuing education online isn’t an option because of equity and technological issues.

“It seems that the district is on board with this, they understand that we can’t rely on google classroom. It would be great took imitative on this and moved forward some legislation kind of looking on municipal broadband or getting internet capable devices in each of our student’s homes, but we’re not there yet and this is showing some of those gaps.”

He said if funding like the Kirwan Commission Plan currently being considered in Annapolis goes through it could have made a big difference.

“It’s outrageous, we should go into a situation like this in a better place. We’re not because of things that are outside of the control of any of our teachers or students.”

Still on Friday Baltimore city teachers are being asked to come in to prepare learning packets for students.

A decision the teachers union is not happy about because many staff members are high risk to contract the virus.

“These workers shouldn’t be forced to go into situations that aren’t clear in terms of what health risk are they facing? That’s something we will be contacting the district on. It’s something we’ve already shared and we’ll be emphasizing that. In addition to social distancing measures and other measures being taken this staff and this population needs to be taken into consideration.”

He said schools are severely under resourced to even create these plans.

“Simple things like paper, like working copying machines, copying machines that have toner. If we’re asking of our 7,000 member, 5,000 teachers to be making a week or more worth of work in packets we’re going to have issues making sure that can happen. doing it in a way that makes sense.”

Spring break for city schools is the week before Easter.

At the time that this article was written there were no confirmed cases in Baltimore City.