Cheryl Bost: Join Me to Fight for Our Schools

We’re so close to making this game-changing investment in our students a reality.

MSEA President Cheryl Bost

Note Thursday, November 21, 2019 as a historic day for public education in Maryland. That’s when the Kirwan Commission voted 19–3 to send their recommendations, including new funding formulas, to the General Assembly. Brit Kirwan, the chair and namesake of the commission, described the recommendations as, “It’s not perfect, but it’s damn good.”

The recommendations call for a rewrite of the almost 20-year-old state funding formula, including county obligations. After a 10-year phase-in, there will be a $4 billion increased annual investment into Maryland’s public schools with expanded career technical opportunities, community schools, and pre-k; increased educator salaries; more funding for schools serving students living in poverty, special education, and ELL students; and more school counselors, psychologists, and tutors to provide early intervention and support for struggling learners.

But the report will remain just words if the General Assembly and Governor Hogan don’t pass legislation in the 2020 General Assembly session. The governor has already initiated scare tactics based on fuzzy math and he’s raising dark money from millionaires at private fundraisers to use to oppose passing a new funding formula. His claims about the scale of potential tax increases simply don’t add up. It’s rhetoric intended to mislead and divide Marylanders, who polling has repeatedly shown want to increase investments in our schools.

Educators, parents, administrators, and coalition partners have all raised our voices in the movement to fund our schools. But our work isn’t finished. We must speak up and show up to make sure the Kirwan recommendations and funding are passed this year — without delay. Now is the time to call, email, and meet with our elected officials and tell them our stories. We must hold them accountable to do what is right — fund our schools.

We’re so close to making this game-changing investment in our students a reality. I’m asking you to join me in our continued fight to fund our schools in order to provide the public education our students deserve.