“We need a constitutional amendment to make sure casino funds are dedicated to enriching school funding.”
Since casinos have come online, nearly $2 billion in revenue was redirected from our schools to other areas in the budget by Gov. O’Malley and Gov. Hogan.
Thanks to your advocacy, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Fix the Fund Act, which puts a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November to make sure that never happens again. If it passes, it will add $500 million of badly needed school funding to the budget annually.
With 188 General Assembly seats, 127 county council seats, 87 board of education seats, 8 county executives, and the governor on the ballot in November — in addition to the Fix the Fund constitutional amendment — change is coming to the groups of people who help shape our working conditions, contracts, and profession. You know who they are and what they believe. Let’s elect the ones who support our schools.
The Kirwan Commission and the 2019 General Assembly hold the keys to the changes we really need to get our schools back on track. The Commission finalizes its recommendations this fall and while we’re excited about many of its preliminary recommendations — a 30% increase in teacher pay, increases in staffing, expanded pre-kindergarten and career and technology education — we must keep working for strong recommendations, including proposals to increase pay for support staff.
The 2019 General Assembly will debate the recommendations and pass a new school funding formula to close the debilitating $2.9 billion funding gap. There’s no denying that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to show our power to organize, mobilize, and advocate for the resources, programs, and services we know our students need.
From students marching for safe schools to educators marching for adequate funding, it’s clear — we can’t sit on the sidelines and expect that the change we want will magically arrive. If we show up in force for our schools over the next year, we can take full advantage of the opportunities to create real, positive change for our students.