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200 Baltimore students and their allies ask why there’s always money to fund police and the military, but never any for public schools.

Story Transcript

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.

Protesters 1: Our schools.

Protesters 2: Our rules.

Protesters 1: Our schools.

Protesters 2: Our rules.

Jaisal Noor: I’m Jaisal Noor for The Real News. Chanting, “Our schools, our rules.” About 200 Baltimore youth marched on the state’s capital to demand more funding for city schools.

Protesters 2: [inaudible 00:00:17] are we clear?

Protesters 1: Okay, okay. Listen here.

Protesters 2: Like you matter. Are we clear?

Speaker 4: I’m out here to protest and let everyone know that youth voices need to be heard.

Speaker 5: We all know that Baltimore City is under-resourced, underfunded.

Jaisal Noor: And they came with a message for Maryland’s Republican Governor, Larry Hogan.

Speaker 4: With the amount of funding we get, we cannot succeed. We will not be able to see success and get farther in our life is we want to.

Speaker 5: If you see the difference when you go to a public school every day and you can see like, “Yeah, I don’t want to be here.” I saw a bunch of students every time. Students graduate from Baltimore City, most of our students got to take remedial math classes.

Jaisal Noor: Maryland’s legislature is currently considering a plan to overhaul its education system as proposed by the Kirwan Commission. Its recommendations would change school funding formulas, revamp curricula, teacher assessment, early childhood education and more.

Speaker 4: Me being a junior, I still got a whole another year. And it’s not just for high school, it’s going up to college career readiness, as well. So this is important to me because I plan on being able to stay in school, achieve my dreams, achieve my goals and what I actually want to be when I grow up.

Jaisal Noor: And an analysis by the centrist Sage Policy Group found Kirwan would start paying for itself in 15 years.

Speaker 6: And you didn’t even really need to hire expensive people to tell you that when folks are better educated, they end up with better life prospects, they end up with better jobs, they end up paying into the system instead of money being put toward supporting them in the system. So there’s been an analysis that says within 20 years, not only will the investment be recouped, after that, the state’s going to actually be in a better economic conditions than if they hadn’t made that investment in the first place.

Speaker 7: But ultimately, if you don’t invest in young people, if you don’t invest in economic opportunities for young people and make that a part of the strategy for the school system, then there are no opportunities and it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on public safety in the long run.

Jaisal Noor: With Cameron Granadino, this is Jaisal Noor, Annapolis, Maryland.

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Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.