Mayor’s Office Partners with Baltimore Universities to Support Equity and Efficiency in American Rescue Plan Act Funding

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Monica Lewis
(410) 387-8378

monica.lewis@baltimorecity.gov

Mayor’s Office Partnering with the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University to Evaluate ARPA Funding Initiatives

BALTIMORE, MD. (Tuesday, December 14, 2021) — Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing that the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs is partnering with the University of Baltimore (UB) and Morgan State University (MSU) to leverage their research and program evaluation expertise for initiatives funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The universities were competitively selected and will be dedicated to specific program areas outlined in U.S. Treasury Department rules for ARPA funding allocations. 

“ARPA is a one-time investment. Support from these two world-class universities will position us to make evidence-based decisions and show our impact for the benefit of Baltimoreans,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “In a city like Baltimore with deep systemic challenges even before the pandemic, we must be strategic and targeted in our approach — with an eye toward making a definitive, measured impact on our city through a lens of equity. This partnership will allow us to do that.”  

Through this partnership, the University of Baltimore and Morgan State University will advise the City on program design, evidence-based interventions, equitable distribution of funds, best practices observed in peer cities, performance metrics, and how to structure and implement rigorous program evaluations for new, innovative programs funded by ARPA.  

“Impact, equity, and accountability are the leading values of my office as we work diligently to administer ARPA funding” said Shamiah Kerney, Chief Recovery Officer. “This partnership will help the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs meet the clear mandates from ARPA to advance equity and to implement or develop evidence-based interventions for the benefit of Baltimore City residents.” 

Earlier this year, the City of Baltimore issued a Request for Information inviting colleges and universities to describe how they would assist the city with research and evaluation of ARPA funded programs and initiatives. After a committee scored responses using defined criteria, the Recovery Office selected two Baltimore-based universities to provide research and evaluation assistance. The university partners will ensure that the City of Baltimore is positioned to make evidence-informed decisions about programs and services created or expanded with the federal stimulus and recovery funds. 

The University of Baltimore's evaluation portfolio will include initiatives addressing negative economic impacts, providing services to disproportionately impacted communities, and expanding infrastructure — specifically broadband.  

“We often say that we are not only the University of Baltimore but also the University for Baltimore,” said Kurt Schmoke, President of the University of Baltimore. “We have the skills and local knowledge at UBalt to help the city use these funds for long term impact and sustainability. It is an honor to be selected to help evaluate the use of ARPA funds by the City.”  

Morgan State University’s evaluation portfolio will include initiatives that involve economic assistance to small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the tourism and hospitality industries.  

“As an anchor institution within the city and university with a high research mission, Morgan is ideally poised to undertake this initiative. This partnership allows Morgan to leverage our longstanding connections to the Baltimore community and groundswell of trust built within Baltimore’s neighborhoods to assist Mayor Scott and his team,” said David K. Wilson, President of Morgan State University. “We appreciate this important opportunity to work with the City of Baltimore, and with our colleagues in higher education, to advance equity and efficiency for the benefit of Baltimore residents.” 

The Scott administration has already made substantial ARPA investments across four of the five Mayor’s priority pillars: Building Public Safety ($50 million investment for violence prevention efforts, including community violence intervention, victim services, youth justice, re-entry, and community healing); Clean and Healthy Communities ($80 million investment to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and improve nutritional security); Prioritizing Youth ($30 million investment to expand workforce development efforts and job placements for young people and disadvantaged job seekers); and Equitable Neighborhood Development ($25 million investment to establish an Economic Recovery Fund for small, local businesses; and $35 million investment to expand the City’s fiber network to local recreation centers and provide public Wi-Fi in West Baltimore, laying the groundwork to close the digital divide for good).  

About the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs  

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has provided $641 million to the City of Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. Mayor Brandon M. Scott has established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs to transparently and effectively administer this funding on behalf of the City. 

For additional information on Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s past investments in public health, violence prevention, putting Baltimore back to work, supporting an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19, and digital equity, visit the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs website at arp.baltimorecity.gov. This page is updated frequently with the latest ARPA-related information.    

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