“Red for Ed Is Not a Teachers’ Movement, It’s a People’s Movement.”

Baltimore County teacher heads to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on educator activism

Baltimore County government teacher Katherine Mullen was in Washington, D.C. to brief the Congressional Progressive caucus on educators and school issues.

It’s not often a public school educator gets to be part of a formal briefing to a Congressional caucus, but that’s exactly what Baltimore County government teacher Katherine Mullen and colleagues from California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma did on May 30.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, legislators and staffers eager for news from the field on education and labor issues, hosted the panel and listened as on-the-ground classroom educators shared their experiences and what moved them to action.

“Red for Ed is not a teachers’ movement,” Mullen said, “it’s a people’s movement.” She told the group about MSEA’s 2018 Fix the Fund campaign and its success in securing $500 million a year in casino revenues as a constitutionally mandated add-on to the state’s education budget.

And now, with the passage of the 2019 Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, those funds are a promising $1.1 billion down payment in new education funding as Maryland prepares to rewrite its school funding formula in 2020.

“The Blueprint has the potential to revolutionize every aspect of education in Maryland and impact the lives of every stakeholder.”

Mullen hands out posters at MSEA’s 2018 Fix the Fund Rally.

Mullen is a dedicated educator and activist — and a member of MSEA’s GO (Grassroots Organizing) Team where she’s found a new voice. “Before joining the Team, I and many union members had no idea of the member organizing and hard work that was happening in Annapolis and around the state on our behalf,” she said.

“As members of the Team, we are channels for information, resources, and opportunities for action. The passage of the Blueprint was a big win.

“Our next steps must be sustained, collective action statewide and working to build momentum in our locals.”