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Education groups demand more school money in Hogan budget

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

The Blueprint Coalition, a group of education advocates, is charging that Gov. Larry Hogan shortchanged schools by nearly $140 million in his budget and they want him to restore it.

In a press conference Thursday, the advocates argued that under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, better known as the Kirwan funding formula, most of that money was to go to Baltimore City and Prince George’s County schools, which have concentrated areas of poverty, Black and brown students, and students with special needs.

Shamoyia Gardner, executive director of Strong Schools Maryland, a member of the coalition, said Maryland’s record budget surplus means the money is available and that the governor should follow the law.

“Governor Hogan needs to decide whether his legacy will be upholding the law or continuing to break records in defunding public schools and undermining educational equity,” she said.

Del. Stephanie Smith, chair of the Baltimore City House delegation, said the money is owed to those schools and she wasn’t uncomfortable asking for it.

I'm incredibly energized to demand that the governor of this great state, move the money in a supplemental budget to where it rightfully belongs, with Baltimore city public school students and their families, as well as the Prince George's County Public Schools and their families, she said.

Del. Nick Charles, chair of the Prince George’s House delegation borrowed from the governor’s line about wearing face masks.

“Governor Hogan, we are asking you to work with us and fund our damn schools,” he said. “Give us our money. It's not something that we're begging for. It's something that we deserve. The children of Prince George's County and the children of Baltimore City deserve this.”

Hogan’s spokesman Mike Ricci said in a statement the governor’s budget provides record funding for education this year and the money this group wants isn’t due until next year.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.
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