Vice President Dan Quayle comes to Baltimore today to boost the Maryland Republican Party and President Bush's education goals.
Quayle was scheduled to appear first at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where state Republicans were expecting as many as 200 people for a breakfast fund-raiser.
Then he was to speak before the Baltimore Council of Foreign Affairs and go from there to Matthew A. Henson Elementary School.
Henson's principal, Leah Hasty, and her staff met with White House staff yesterday at the school in preparation for Quayle's visit. Quayle's staff chose Henson in part because it has an all-male class, a concept endorsed by Bush.
"This school is a very typical inner-city school," said Douglas J. Neilson, spokesman for city schools. "The kids come from very diverse socio-economic backgrounds."
Nearly every student is black; most are poor, with 81 percent qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches, Neilson said.
The school also might be of interest to Quayle because it receives federal funds targeted for disadvantaged students, Neilson suggested.
"Leah doesn't need the national publicity because she's been getting it for three years for having the all-male class," he said. "At the same time, she deserves the recognition."
At the Hyatt, Quayle was expected to talk about various issues to an audience paying up to $500 a head ($150 for breakfast, $500 for breakfast and a photo opportunity with the vice president). The event should net $35,000 to $40,000 for the state GOP, said party leader Joyce L. Terhes.
Terhes said Quayle's visit, which follows visits earlier this year by members of Bush's Cabinet, signals the rising status of the Maryland GOP. "I think this is a significant indication that they think the party is making a significant difference in Maryland," she said.
Under Terhes' leadership, the party has raised more than $300,000 this year, which she called the best fund-raising effort "in a long time."
After breakfast, Quayle was to join a round-table discussion with 14 corporate chief executive officers.