Inside MSEA with Sean Johnson

New Year, New Administration, New Opportunities

The start of 2023 brings a lot of new to public schools in Maryland. Wes Moore’s victory was part of an election where more than 80% of educator-recommended candidates won. We engage in the electoral process to impact policy and deliver the supports and resources needed to every classroom in the state.

At 12:01 p.m. on January 18, Wes Moore will be sworn in as the 63rd chief executive of our great state. Governor Moore will take office at a time of great transition. He joins a brand new lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general, as well as scores of new delegates and senators in the General Assembly. That change at the state level is matched in county commissions, councils, and boards of education throughout the state. Many of these new leaders will be dealing with some familiar problems and will be looking to us as educators to solve complicated challenges—implementing the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future; advancing racial, social, and economic justice; securing and expanding collective bargaining rights; winning on manageable class sizes and improved salaries and benefits; and fighting vouchers and privatization schemes.

This election cycle made clear just who our opponents are and what they hope to accomplish. Extremist groups attempted to divide communities by targeting and politicizing boards of education. Luckily, educators successfully defeated many of the dangerous candidates running across the state, setting the stage for focused conversations on what our students need rather than being diverted by national politics and divisiveness. In some races, however, more extreme candidates won—threatening to divert local education conversations to hyperbolic political agendas. In this climate, we must redouble our efforts to fight for contracts, policies, and legislation to protect and defend marginalized students and educators, the resources students need to pursue their dreams, and an accurate and honest curriculum.

We start anew in 2023 but with the same determination to help students, support our members, lead our professions, and in the words of Governor Moore, make sure we leave no one behind. Happy New Year!

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