Give ALL Young Marylanders a Promising Future
of our young people in Maryland grow to become successful
adults. Some of our public schools are among the best
in the country. Some children in the state are fortunate
enough to be raised in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods
in the country. There are, however, many young residents
growing up in our state who are not so fortunate. We
have families that have remained poor for generations.
We have neighborhoods in Baltimore where children must
stay inside all day to be safe. When they are home,
many of our students are distracted by rats, hunger
and the family stress that usually accompanies financial
difficulties in the family. Children are raised with
no money skills, because their parents don't have the
skills to pass on.
need to start with children at a young age, but we can't
abandon older children. Our high schools must graduate
students fully prepared to survive and thrive as adults.
In teaching adults, I've had students that were products
of the Baltimore City School system, that were very
bright and could verbally answer any question they were
given, but were functionally illiterate. It may not
be a frequent occurrence, but it shouldn't happen at
all. Students leave school without knowing how to interview,
how to dress for work or how to manage money. We need
to teach both ethics and civics. We need to teach students
to respect themselves and to respect the opposite gender.
are multiple steps we will need to take. There are a
variety of programs that could be implemented that are
achievable and would pay for themselves.
SOCIAL PROGRAM IS BETTER THAN A JOB
need to target neighborhoods where we will take all
the steps we need to help families get ahead. We can
leverage public funds by coordinating our efforts with
private investors and non-profit organizations. If funding
requires us to start small, we can implement programs
block by block. The savings in social programs and law
enforcement, and the increase in tax revenue will cover
the expense of expanding into additional areas.
of the worse stresses a family can face is economic
hardship. Children raised in these households are often
exposed to frequent arguments, or even domestic violence.
Divorce rates are also higher, so there is a greater
chance that children will be raised in a single-parent
household. Children are more likely to go to school
hungry. The distractions a child faces can have a major
negative impact on their ability to concentrate in school.
first step in ending the stress on a family is by making
sure one or both parents have decent employment. We
can make a concentrated effort to find employers that
will give hiring preferences to residents of target
areas. Where needed we can give specialized job training
to help meet the needs of employers (there is a successful
program in Georgia we can use as a model). Parents working
in minimum-wage positions would be given the assistance
needed to find jobs that pay higher wages. Teenagers
also can be helped to find starter positions that will
introduce them to the working world.