Education Advocates, Lawmakers Celebrate Restoration Of $140M In School Funding For Baltimore, P.G. County – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Maryland attorneys and lawmakers have noted Gov. Larry Hogan’s decision to repeal a $ 140 million cut in education funding, including $ 125.5 million in grants for the city of Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

The governor restored funds to an additional budget of $ 480 million, which he sent to the Maryland General Assembly on Tuesday.

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Leaders of both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly, President of the Senate Bill Ferguson and Speaker of the House of Representatives Adrienne Jonespraised Hogan’s turn.

Jones singled out Dells propaganda. Maggie Mackintosh (D-Baltimore), Stephanie Smith (D-Baltimore) and Nick Charles (D-Prince George County).

“Thank you for your work to ensure that Baltimore City and Prince George County students are not short of things,” she said. said.

Speaking in the Senate, Ferguson said it was probably the first of several additional budgets submitted by the governor.

“I want to thank the administration for moving forward and recognizing the importance of these funds, and I’m just looking forward to the ongoing talks while we navigate the budget,” he said.

Charlimar Douglas, chair of the Maryland Alliance for Racial Justice in Education, told WJZ that she was grateful to politicians, activists, parents, faculty and students who were able to raise support for funding, especially grants for Baltimore and Prince George County.

But, she said, the money is in the Maryland Future Plan, a 10-year plan to increase education spending by billions. In early 2021, both houses of the assembly overcame Hogan’s veto on the measure.

“It’s the law,” Douglas said. “This should be reflected in the Plan. It’s not necessary. “

In a statement on the budget, Hogan said: “With this additional budget, we are providing important resources to support Marylanders’ top priorities. We look forward to working with the General Assembly in the coming weeks to provide a final budget that provides record investment in education, substantial tax breaks for families and retirees, and more support for police and emergency services. ”

The Maryland Alliance for Racial Justice in Education was one of several groups that held a press conference last week on Hogan’s reduction, saying they seriously affect the two counties with the most minority students.

While Hogan had previously stated that his initial budget for fiscal 2023 includes “$ 151 million above the statutory funding formulas of the legislature,” a January fiscal briefing from the nonpartisan Department of Legislative Services found that his plan did not provide grants for the city Baltimore and Prince George County. , plus an additional $ 14.2 million for support and training programs outlined in the Maryland Future Plan, also known as the Kirvan Bill.

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State law requires the governor to present a balanced budget, and the Maryland General Assembly can only cut off his proposals, not add or reallocate funds.

Under Kirvan’s leadership, the state is required to provide additional funding to low-income areas through what is called adjusting education efforts, said Frank Patinella, senior education attorney for ACLU Maryland, during the group’s online presentation last week.

Grants help these districts pay additional tuition costs for students who are eligible for free or discounted meals, study English, or require special education.

“And it’s necessary in this formula, otherwise the formula is completely unfair,” Patinella said.

Historically, counties with large populations of black and brown students have not received funding and have asked to do more with smaller amounts, and the $ 140 million decision to withhold $ 140 million for these counties is “deepened by racial inequality,” Douglas said last week.

Speaking to WJZ on Tuesday, Douglas said: “Our groups, schools and communities, we need this funding, we don’t need to fight and ask to get fair funding for our students.”

During a virtual event on Feb. 17, Smith and Charles joined supporters of Strong Schools Maryland and other groups, urging Hogan to resume funding.

Smith said the law’s goal is to prepare students for success in the global economy of the 21st century.

“Stop levying funds from our schools, stop depriving the finances of the future of our citizens and our youth in Baltimore City,” she said in a statement to Hogan. “There is still time to do the right things, and we respectfully encourage you to do the right things because the law says you have to.”

In an email to WJZ on Tuesday, Smith, chairman of the Baltimore City Hall delegation, said a joint letter had also been sent to the governor’s office.

“These funds were provided by the Maryland Future Plan and belonged to the schools of Baltimore County and Prince George,” she wrote. “Moreover, advocates of education from across the state were united in demanding today’s result, and I am very grateful.”

At the end of this year, the last of Hogan’s last powers, Douglas said her organization would continue to uphold the rights of black and brown students, and that the education law is being enforced as written.

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“If you stand for the success of Maryland and for the economy of this state to be competitive, you have to fully fund Blueprint,” Douglas said.


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