I have been a strong supporter of public education during my tenure as mayor. In 1987 I said that it was my goal as mayor to one day have Baltimore be known as The City That Reads. In doing that I underscored my commitment to improving all levels of education and getting people in our city focused on lifelong learning.
The state of Baltimores economy was one of a variety of reasons for this commitment. Thirty years before I came into office, the largest private employer in Baltimore was the Bethlehem Steel Corporations Sparrows Point Plant. When I entered into office, however, the largest private employer in Baltimore was the Johns Hopkins University and Medical Center.
This transition meant that though there were jobs available, they would require a level of education that was higher than that which our childrens parents and grandparents had to attain. It was clear to me that a commitment to improving literacy and understanding that education is a lifelong process was vitally important to our city.