Mary Pat Clarke is a champion of city schools

Mary Pat ClarkeWaverly (Baltimore, Maryland)

J. Michael Collins and Roz Heid's critical letters on Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke's Monday statement regarding the bottle tax demand a response ("Clarke finally doing something for schools? Not really" and "Baltimore needs more than a new tax," June 12 and 13). No elected official in the state has done more for remedying the crisis of the city's decrepit school buildings than Mary Pat Clarke.

When the school system suffered its 2004 fiscal crisis, renovation money to prepare Waverly School for its first 7th grade class was withdrawn. Under the leadership of Mary Pat Clarke, corporate donations were obtained, and parents, teachers and community volunteers worked alongside Naval Reservists to complete the emergency renovations. Last week's groundbreaking of the new Waverly School building was the culmination of her years of work to make certain that Waverly children got the school facility that they deserved.

Yet she understands even her diligent work with school facilities in North Baltimore and stellar work leading the City Council Education Committee was not enough. What we need now is a big plan- enormous enough to remedy the massive Baltimore City School facility crisis.

Joan Stanne, Baltimore

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