Bills on over-testing and privatization advance thanks to educator activism
Educators had a big week last week — with substantial levels of activism leading to significant steps in the right direction on the Protect Our Schools Act, the Less Testing, More Learning Act, and turning back Gov. Hogan’s private school vouchers program.
Here’s the recap:
Photos © Stephen Cherry
Including NEA President Lily Eskelsen García…
I'm marching so students have time to learn and so ALL students have access to great public schools. #protectmdschools @MSEAeducators pic.twitter.com/f1ztWGv0Wl— Lily Eskelsen García (@Lily_NEA) March 13, 2017
And public education champions like Senator Roger Manno and Delegate Eric Luedtke.
Got a chance to thank educators for their work and advocacy w @RogerManno at the @MSEAeducators Protect Our Schools rally. pic.twitter.com/PVNr8k5Vn4— Delegate Eric Luedtke (@EricLuedtke) March 13, 2017
We're ready to meet with legislators…hundreds of us! #ProtectMDSchools pic.twitter.com/Uxxocu2YW6— Maryland Educators (@MSEAeducators) March 13, 2017
The calls came in all week long! On March 15, the MSEA legislative hotline hit its highest daily total of calls since 2012.
I called Robert Cassilly and left my message with the very nice receptionist. pic.twitter.com/Pz7S2BTSkP— Ms. Gaddy (@HisGaddystory) March 14, 2017
Shoveling done-time to call my MD senator! #ProtectMDSchools @mceanea @MSEAeducators pic.twitter.com/joGRUXQwp9— Jennifer Martin (@JMartinMCEA) March 14, 2017
The outpouring of emails ran the gamut from calling on legislators to pass the Protect Our Schools Act, stop Governor Hogan’s vouchers plan, and pass the Less Testing, More Learning Act.
[email protected]: Schools & students are counting on you. Please support the Protect Our Schools Act (HB 978/SB 871). #protectMDschools— Annette C. Welling (@acwelling) March 17, 2017
@JheanelleW @Willcsmithjr @DavidMoon2014 This teacher is happy to hear about HB978/SB871. Thanks for support! #ProtectMDschools— Ellen Daniels (@LNDan5) March 17, 2017
And while our Wear Red for Public Ed day on Tuesday got snowed out, educators were still shoveling and bundled up in their red.
ACEA President John Reuschlein rocking red for public ed! #ProtectMDSchools @MSEAeducators pic.twitter.com/5HxtsHHda7— UniServ Evan West (@UniservEvan) March 14, 2017
Day 2-Wearing #redforpubliced & urging the MD Senate to #protectMDschools and restore our students' authentic learning time! @MSEAeducators pic.twitter.com/pBSvi6KWBt— Carissa Barnes Harper,M.Ed. (@ResourceShark) March 14, 2017
May be a snow day, but still a day to support public education! #ProtectMDSchools pic.twitter.com/WKG48LWBXZ— Jennie Merrill (@JennieLou811) March 14, 2017
Some even started early!
SHES staff planned ahead and wore red before our snow day! #ProtectMDSchools @mceanea @MSEAeducators pic.twitter.com/XmVBVFMjNT— Heather Ruth Hunter (@ruthheat) March 14, 2017
There was some real payoff to all that activism, too. Here’s what happened last week:
#MDSenate just passed my #LessTestingMoreLearning to limit onerous testing! #ProtectOurSchools @Lily_NEA @BettyWeller #MDGA17 #MDpolitics pic.twitter.com/AUv19Bo6vw— Roger Manno (@RogerManno) March 16, 2017
Great work @RogerManno! Both house have passed now and we just need to work out differences. https://t.co/mmqpbocD5O— Delegate Eric Luedtke (@EricLuedtke) March 16, 2017
ICYMI, Hogan budget went to House floor tonight with trims, BOOST cut #mdpolitics #mdga17 #govhogan #mdgop #mddems https://t.co/I5FBsmiSto— MarylandReporter.com (@mdreporter) March 14, 2017
On state budget @LarryHogan wants to provide $ for private schools, the house doesn't want to divert $ from public schools @michaeltdresser— Midday with Tom Hall (@MiddayWYPR) March 17, 2017
This is major progress — and the power of organized educators speaking with one voice on behalf of our public schools and students.
But we’re not there yet. Governor Hogan may veto the Protect Our Schools Act, making it all the more important that we pass it quickly so the General Assembly has time to override his veto. Click here to email your legislators or call them at 1–888–520–6732.
Packed house for @Lily_NEA! "Go! Fight! Win!" #protectmdschools pic.twitter.com/kKK819yMHi— Maryland Educators (@MSEAeducators) March 13, 2017