MSEA and your local affiliate play a central role in ensuring that educators and school employees across Maryland receive decent salaries and benefits. Whether it’s bargaining for professional-level salaries and health care or pushing for improved funding in Annapolis, the work we do is critical to attracting and retaining the expertise and talent in the long run that is needed to maintain a high-quality school system.
The need to improve salaries is clear. School funding has plateaued and the negative impacts on our profession, and our schools, are unfortunately widespread. Maryland teachers make 84 cents on the dollar compared to peers in similar fields with similar levels of education. Far too many support staff don’t make a living wage and must work multiple jobs to make ends meet. A statewide survey of educators in 2019 found that 50% of educators work a second job to make ends meet and 94% buy school supplies for their students out of their own pockets.
In recent years, the association has had success in setting the stage for improving salaries over the long term. The passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future during the 2019 legislative session led to the largest raise for educators since the 2008 recession. The final Kirwan Commission recommendations, which included significant and needed improvements in salaries, were passed as an expanded version of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future bill in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote by the 2020 General Assembly. Unfortunately, Governor Hogan stopped progress in its tracks by vetoing the bill, despite the overwhelming support it has among Marylanders and the overdue need to update the funding formula. MSEA and education activists will continue to call on the General Assembly to override the governor’s misguided veto when the legislature next convenes.