Here’s what MSEA members are doing right now to get Maryland schools on par with Finland, Singapore, and Massachusetts.
“This really is our moment, and members are responding to it. Legislators will hear from 73,000 members come January with a strong message of unity and purpose for improving our schools — and they won’t stop hearing from us until they listen and take action.” — MSEA President Betty Weller
Educators across Maryland are talking about — and organizing around — the once-in-a-generation opportunity to increase school funding through the work of the influential Kirwan Commission, whose initial recommendations are due before the end of December.
For the last two months, MSEA President Betty Weller, Vice President Cheryl Bost, and other leaders have been talking to building reps and local leaders about the commission’s goal to get Maryland schools on par with world-class education systems like those in Massachusetts, Finland, Singapore, and Shanghai on issues like student resources and services, teacher prep, teacher pay, staffing and more.
At each meeting, school leaders were asked to seize the opportunity — the outcome of which will affect 15 or more years of public education funding in the state — and get as much input as possible from the members in their building.
They’re distributing feedback cards that ask for responses to two prompts:
Building reps are delivering with more than 550 meetings connecting with more than 10,000 educators across Maryland. These meetings aren’t slowing down — if you haven’t heard from your building rep yet, chances are you will. An additional 7,500+ educators, parents, and community members have signed MSEA’s petition calling for increased school funding at ourmomentmaryland.com.
“We’ve said over and over again that educator voices must be part of this process,” Weller said, “and this campaign is proving that we want to be heard.” MSEA is tallying stacks of the feedback cards filled with what members want and need to do their jobs.
With so much in the balance, MSEA is asking educators to host house or community meetings to raise awareness about the work of the Kirwan Commission and what’s at stake for Maryland. “We need our communities to join us in lobbying our representatives in Annapolis — sharing their concerns for their children and schools with lawmakers whose jobs may hinge or whether they are for or against the progress we want to see.”