Two days after Maryland officials approved spending $30 million of taxpayer funds on a shiny new jail for Baltimore youth caught in the snare of the criminal justice system, Gov. Larry Hogan removed $11.6 million from the city’s school budget and reallocated it to the pension fund for state employees, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The budget decisions reflect a pattern in Maryland and across the U.S. of prioritizing spending on incarceration over education—calling to mind what’s become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline”—and the elderly over the young.
On the heels of violent unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, which focused attention on the city’s racial and economic inequities, Hogan’s choice to defund education has garnered criticism.
“Given how the needs of our children have been highlighted by the events of the past few weeks, I hoped that the governor would have agreed with the general assembly that these dollars are critical for expanded educational opportunities,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference following Hogan’s announcement.