MD Board of Public Works spares education cuts, educators say fight still isn’t over
MARYLAND – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed $413 million in budget cuts for Fiscal year 2021 on Wednesday. Governor Hogan had previously suggested that $672 million be cut from the budget.
One of the things that was spared during the budget cuts was funding for public K-12 education. “Activism does work, and we’re advocating for our students and our schools. So, it was good to see those off the table. Now we just have to make sure they actually don’t cut so we can keep schools funded for the coming year,” said Maryland State Education Association president Cheryl Bost.
Bost says educators in the state are relieved that the board decided to hold off on education cuts. “All of our educators were pleased to see the board of public works take off the table the cuts to education. We had about 17,000 educators email Treasurer Kopp and Comptroller Franchot,” said Bost.
Now that the first round of the board’s discussions is over – Bost says she and other educators are willing to work with the state to figure out how they can prevent cuts in the future. “We want the priority to be on schools as it was on healthcare and so we are happy to be at the table to look at ways to continue to fund our education the way that it needs to be, and make sure that our students know that they’re valued,” said Bost.
Education funding and other issues under the budget will be revisited at a Board of Public Works meeting on July 22nd. Bost says that the state shouldn’t cut education funding any further – as schools need the money to safely reopen for educators and students. “We’re hoping for additional help from the federal government, and we know that it will possibly be to help open up schools. We’re looking at a hybrid between digital and in person. All the PPE, all the things that go with social distancing, and make sure that all the students have technology,” said Bost.