MSEA President Betty Weller made the following statement on the House Appropriations Committee’s budget plan:
“Maryland legislators have two very distinct options for the state’s future. On one side, Gov. Hogan’s plan would cut $144 million from Maryland’s public schools, shortchanging our children and their future by overcrowding their classrooms and slashing instructional programs. On the other, the House Appropriations Committee’s plan will restore over 90% of these cuts to our schools—ensuring continued progress for our students—while protecting retirement security for educators. We urge the General Assembly to reject Gov. Hogan’s plan and support this better budget for Maryland.
“School systems across Maryland have made contingency plans based on Gov. Hogan’s proposed education cuts: from increased class sizes in Frederick County to cutting hundreds of educator positions in Montgomery County. They are counting on the General Assembly to pass a better budget that provides adequate and equitable funding, as this alternative budget does by restoring full funding of the Thornton formula and the Geographic Cost of Education Index, both of which were cut by Gov. Hogan.
“This better budget plan allows Maryland to exit the flawed approach of corridor pension funding, which has led to depressed pension contributions from the state. For 13 years, MSEA as well as bond rating agencies have urged the state to exit this broken system and return to the actuarial method that represents the appropriate annual pension contribution. This pension funding plan will protect retirement security and sustainability for retirees and the hard working educators in our state.”