The Baltimore City Council voted today to pass a resolution supporting a lawsuit brought by city schoolchildren and their families challenging inadequate state funding for Baltimore City schools. Represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the lawsuit seeks to hold Maryland accountable for its failure to allocate the proper funding to ensure Baltimore students receive a quality education and to address the abysmal physical conditions of school facilities that undermine students’ ability to learn.
“Elected officials throughout Maryland have failed Baltimore students and their families for decades, but we hope this city council resolution represents a start to a much-needed paradigm shift,” said Ajmel Quereshi, LDF Senior Counsel. “Students cannot learn in decrepit facilities that lack basic necessities like heating or air conditioning, and we’re heartened by this endorsement of our efforts to secure the resources Baltimore schoolchildren deserve.”
“We thank Councilperson Bill Henry and the Baltimore City Council as a whole for passing this resolution and for understanding that the needs and constitutional rights of our schoolchildren cannot be ignored,” said Dana Vickers Shelley, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. “I want to thank Councilmember Henry for spearheading this act of solidarity with students and parents in Baltimore City, uniting to reject the unacceptable, decades-long denial of funds from the State for Baltimore schools.”
Read LDF and ACLU of Maryland’s full petition here.
Learn more about the history of the Bradford lawsuit here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.