A tale of a century

Fred B. Shoken

September 02, 1992|By Fred B. Shoken

IN 1892, Baltimore schools were segregated by race and sex. There were 164 schools and 55,819 students, about half of the 1992 enrollment. Twenty-two schools were "colored," with an enrollment of 7,376. There were also five English-German schools, bilingual schools for the large immigrant German population in Baltimore.

The average attendance rate was 84 percent, ranging from a high of 95 percent at the Manual Training School to a low of 79 percent at the "colored" schools.

The average yearly cost of educating a student was $18.48. (Today it is about $5,000.) While Baltimore City College spent $88.83 to educate each student, male primary schools spent an average of $15.10. Less was spent to educate girls and African Americans -- $14.60 and $14.20, respectively. Girls and blacks were separate and far from equal.

The budget for 1892 was $1,028,500. (It is now $581 million.) Although a few school buildings of that era are standing and used for housing and other purposes, the only 19th-century school building in Baltimore still used as a public school is Booker T. Washington Middle School, the former Western High School at McCulloh Street and Lafayette Avenue.

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