Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s budget priorities show where his heart is – and it’s not with the people. He faces a November re-election challenge from Democrat Ben Jealous.
There are people who intentionally fail to understand the correlation between opportunity and criminality. Opportunity for inner city youth involves what is available and what isn’t. When you systematically short change education, close recreation centers, cut funding for after school and mentoring programs, you create a class of young people who intuitively know you don’t care about their future. So why should they care about you or yours?
How would you feel if you KNEW (not THOUGHT) that adults use your opportunities to score political points and/or penalize the city in which you live? For every photo opp that paints MD Governor Hogan as a savior (shades of Trump), and talks up how much help the state is giving Baltimore, there is a budget that tells a totally different tale.
For the second year in a row, Hogan has seen fit to cut the budget for programs ranging from mentoring for underprivileged students to classes on how to properly complete and submit college applications. There must be a way to assist a child with applying for postsecondary, especially if they are on track to be 1st gen college students. Other programs that Hogan eliminated assisted local residents in the complicated process of applying for financial aid. Of course, underprivileged students don’t have someone writing a check to pay for their schooling.
How short-sighted can a person be to not understand that “saving money” on the backs of those who can least afford it creates the monsters roaming the streets? Predators. Without mentors and programs to provide outlets and vision, some of these children will never see anything outside Baltimore City. Hell, some of them won’t see anything outside East or West Baltimore! In 2018. When you show children there IS more, many will want more and are willing to work for it – provided we offer them the resources to see and achieve the “more” we all want.
Hogan is also pushing harsher sentences, while the entire state has decriminalized heroin (unless you’re a dealer). Do you think he did the same for marijuana? Hell no, he fought that tooth and nail. So once again, the justice required by our governor will be just us.
Let’s take a look at this year’s budget and compare to last year. Déjà vu anyone?
Here are a few of the losers and winners in 2018.
- Winner! Private Schools! Hogan has requested a 5 million dollar increase – giving $8 million more in taxpayer money to private schools.
- Winner! Amazon – $10 million IF they choose Maryland – I wonder what happens to that money if they don’t choose Montgomery County?
- Loser! Baltimore City.
The biggest losers AGAIN will be the people who need the most support: among the cuts are $5 million from a mentorship and scholarship program for students in high-poverty areas, $5 million from extended afterschool and summer programs, and $9 million from a teacher development and mentorship program.
These are the SAME CUTS FROM last year. As you can see, even the reporter had déjà vu.
Young people in Baltimore City see that nobody really cares about them. They may have a few teachers and community leaders who care and are working hard to help in every way they can. They may have parents who work too hard to be available to attend P/T nights, go over homework or meet with their teachers at any time.
However, what they see and hear from political leaders is, “We don’t have the money for programs to help those who need help the most.” The mayor found millions of dollars for a Marriott Hotel for Johns Hopkins Hospital. City Council routinely finds millions of dollars for Kevin Plank.
But what about those children who need programs after school? Who need help figuring out the maze of a college application? Those who need all the support we can supply. What about them? They are left to believe their lives really don’t matter, never mind the slogan. When they choose to become criminals, their parents, culture, neighborhoods are blamed. The blame needs to be placed squarely on those who disenfranchise these children from cradle to the jail. Those people are called politicians.