The Bradford lawsuit, based on a claim under Marylandʼs constitution, is still open and remains under the authority of the stateʼs Circuit Court. It was filed in 1994 by the ACLU against the state of Maryland on behalf of school children and their parents/guardians in Baltimore City. Baltimore City schools had received over $2 billion in increased state funding from the Bradford consent decree and subsequent “Thornton” education funding formula. However, since the recession in 2008, Maryland stopped adjusting the Thornton formula for inflation leading to millions lost funds for districts like Baltimore City. Maryland school districts are still waiting for an updated funding formula from the "Kirwan Commission".

Read Brief History

On January 22, 2019, the ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan on behalf of concerned parents and families. The letter expressed grave concern that the State was not addressing either the massive gap between current and constitutionally adequate educational funding or the immediate infrastructure needs of Baltimore City’s aging school buildings, which disproportionately harms students of color. The letter calls on the State to address this pivotal racial equity issue and ensure the State of Maryland fulfills its constitutional duty to students in Baltimore City.

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Read Press Release


Michael Boyd, Parent of Children in Two Baltimore City Public Schools

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Deshawna Bryant, Senior at City College High School in Baltimore City

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Schools that Baltimore City Students Deserve

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TIMELINE: ACLU’s Fight for Adequate School Funding in Maryland

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LEGAL HISTORY

ACLU PRESS RELEASES

Information about Senate Bill 795 from the 1997 General Assembly:

  • Established a "parternship agreement" between the city, state, and ACLU
  • Changed the governing structure of the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS); made it a separate entity governed by a newly created Board of School Commissioners, which would in turn hire a Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Attorney(s)

Elizabeth B. McCallum

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Originally filed by Howrey and Simon, currently handled by Baker Hostetler

Date filed

December 6, 1994

Status

Active

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