Education is the answer to Baltimore's crime problem

September 16, 2010

No matter who wins the final vote count in the states' attorney contest, we will all be talking about crime over the next several weeks. Police and prosecutors fight crime, but education prevents crime. We're seeing signs of an educational renaissance in Baltimore City, but it's just the beginning. As a teacher, a city resident and a Democratic nominee to the Maryland Senate, I won't be satisfied until our schools are so great that families want to move into the city so their children can attend Baltimore City Public Schools.

Education isn't a rich or poor issue in Baltimore City, and it's not a black or white issue; but it is a black and white issue. Those who invest in our city know their businesses need stability, an educated workforce and residents earning enough money to become their customers. Imagine what that would do for property values in Baltimore! To say it can't be done is to deny the reality that many of us — but not enough of us — have achieved.

At the core of a good education is a stable neighborhood and a stable home. That's why we need a partnership between stakeholders — developers, businesses, labor and residents — to bring opportunity, jobs and pride to our neighborhoods so we can prepare a new generation of educated and values-oriented young adults who want to stay in Baltimore so their own children will have the same opportunities they have. It's not just words; businesses that invest in our city need to invest in our schools, and schools need to be accountable to all of the city's stakeholders.

I am deeply humbled that 190 teachers donated their money to my campaign, knocked on doors, and chatted about our effort on Facebook and Twitter, and most of all, I'm thankful that the people of the 46th District gave a newcomer like me, a teacher, an opportunity to make Baltimore a better place to live.

Bill Ferguson, Baltimore

The writer is the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary for state Senate in the 46th District.

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