We have an opportunity to fundamentally alter the trajectory of our schools and students
Every January, we celebrate and reflect on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — work that changed our country and for which he gave the ultimate sacrifice. As we begin a new decade, I wonder how far we have advanced his work.
As an educator, and the elected voice of educators across this state, I believe our public schools are currently not meeting the needs of all students in Maryland. Currently, schools serving our students in high-poverty communities are funded less than those in affluent areas. Access to advanced courses are not offered equally to students of color. A student’s zip code dictates opportunities for pre-K, career technical education, dual enrollment, and more. Too many of our students are in overcrowded classrooms, enter classes taught by unqualified substitutes as teacher shortages grow, and have little or no access to counselors or health professionals.
Identifying or recognizing these disparities is in no way enough. Like Dr. King and the civil rights activists of his generation, we did not create the situation we find ourselves in — but we must take action to change it. We have an opportunity to fundamentally alter the trajectory of our schools and students by securing the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and a new school funding formula. We can provide hope to the students of our state for something better.
I will do everything I can to make sure the Blueprint passes this year, and I ask you to join me. Go to marylandblueprint.org to learn more about the Blueprint and contact your elected officials. We must pass the Blueprint — and then we must work hard at the local level to make sure these resources are used wisely and effectively to deliver a high-quality public education to every single one of our students.