Baltimore: Poverty, Children, Literacy… & Libraries

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 21.1% of children under the age of 18 are living in poverty. Figures such as these affirm the importance of the philanthropic community and are the motivating force behind the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s commitment to help low-income and vulnerable individuals through grants to direct-service nonprofits.

While Baltimore is a city with numerous strengths, the education of our children appears to be an ongoing struggle. According to the 2012 Maryland School Assessment, 34.5% of 3rd graders are reading below grade level, a figure that is double the State average. What makes these figures even more alarming is the fact that it has been shown that one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time. This rate, which is four times greater than that for proficient readers, is a terrible reality for many Baltimore City students and educators, but does not have to be.

Overview of Baltimore City School Stats

2015-2016 Student Enrollments: 83,666 (all grades)

  • 44,960 students in grades pre-k–5
  • 16,960 students in grades 6–8

2015-2016 Student Demographics

  • 81.8 percent African American; 8.2 percent Hispanic/Latino; 7.9 percent White
  • 84.8 percent low income (based on eligibility for Free or Reduced Price Meals)
  • 4.7 percent English language learner

Schools and Programs in 2015-2016: 181 total

  • 50 elementary schools
  • 74 elementary/middle schools