NEWS: Baltimore Democratic Mayoral Candidate Supports School Choice

From The Baltimore Sun:

Mayoral candidate and former city planning director Otis Rolley III has vowed to offer private school vouchers to students zoned to attend failing middle schools and says he would lobby to restore mayoral control to the city school system.

“Our future is directly tied to the success or failure of our schools,” Rolley said in an interview. He is slated to unveil his education plan across from school headquarters on North Avenue on Monday.

Rolley, whose eldest daughter is a third-grade student at Roland Park Elementary School, believes better schools would keep more families in Baltimore and persuade others to move to the city.

His education plan calls for closing Baltimore’s five worst-performing middle schools and giving students $10,000 vouchers to use at private or parochial schools. The students would also be able to attend the public middle school of their choice under his plan.

“It’s in middle school that we’re losing kids,” he said. “I think it’s crucial when we’re talking about rebuilding Baltimore to have a real choice for parents.”

His education platform represents a departure from the current administration and the other mayoral challengers.

Read more here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-ci-rolley-education-plan-20110612,0,4511595.story