Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

City lawmakers tell Alonso school construction is top priority

Baltimore’s representatives in the House of Delegates assured the head of the city’s public schools Friday that tackling the issue of school construction financing was their top priority in this year’s General Assembly.

Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, gave a presentation to the city’s delegation Friday morning that detailed the city school board’s proposal of a 10-year plan that requires the school system to borrow more than $1 billion.

Alonso is seeking $32 million from the state in the form of a block grant. The money would not count against the state’s debt rating, Alonso said, because he’s proposing the creation of the Baltimore City Schools Construction Authority, an independent group that would receive the money.

Lawmakers were told the model was based off that of the Maryland Stadium Authority. The authority receives money from the state for projects without that amount being legally attributed to the state.

Delegates assured Alonso their questions in an hour-long meeting were “friendly.” But the school systems’ boss didn’t escape without taking some abuse for his failure to wear purple Friday, in advance of the Baltimore Ravens‘ playoff game versus the Denver Broncos.

“I have a little bit of purple in my tie,” Alonso sheepishly told lawmakers.