Perfectly Attended.

Perfect attendance

Earlier this week I visited a Baltimore city school to meet with students who had perfect attendance in the first quarter. As Mayor, it is one of the more rewarding aspects of the role, meeting young, energized students, and congratulating them on achievements.

As Americans, we are fortunate to have access to a free education. And, as Americans, there are also laws that require our children attend school. These laws were enacted in part over the growing concerns of child labor and the exploitation of children by factory and mill owners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s hard to think about what life was like before public schools were commonplace. If you didn’t come from means, your family most likely couldn’t afford to send you to school.

There was also a time when educating the general public wasn’t considered important. Because Baltimore was a city of industry, value was placed on industrial skills versus literacy. I am so thankful that mindset has changed.

The right to an education for all is extraordinary. It is from education we improve our lives, and attendance makes a difference. Growing up, my parents emphasized the importance of an education.

I am a product of public schools, having attended Western High School in Baltimore city (Go Doves!). I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend college, and ultimately attend law school and earn an advanced degree. The rigorous curriculum attached to a law degree requires that you attend class. I attended class.

Attendance also shows respect. When you get to school on time, every day, it shows respect to the education system. Numerous people are involved in the education of students. A great deal of time, research, and dedication is given to preparing the lessons that teach our youth.

Improving education in Baltimore city has always been a priority of mine and I was thrilled to meet so many students that are dedicated to being at school every day. I look forward to the quarterly list of students with a perfect attendance increasing as the year progresses and to once again congratulating them.

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