Hundreds of teachers, parents and advocates hit Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis Monday evening. They were rallying for more education funding through the Fix The Fund Act. They said the education funding gap is too big and the state’s students and teachers are suffering because of it.
That spending gap is $2.9 billion dollars. The Fix The Fund Act aims to use casino revenue to fund schools. Those in favor of the legislation say it’s now up to lawmakers to pass it.
“It’s a huge impact on all of our communities whether you have children or not. I don’t have my own children but I want to live in a community where education is a priority because it’s an investment in the future,” Robin Beers, an Anne Arundel County teacher, told ABC2.
Teachers from all over the state came together for the sake of their students and their communities.
“If we want to be competitive with not just other states but other nations, if we want our students to be able to compete in the global marketplace, you have to fund education,” said teacher Michelle Alexander.
The bill promises to use casino revenue to fund schools, meaning in part, more student resources and higher teacher salaries.
“Quite a number of the teachers I talked to couldn’t come out tonight because they’re working their second jobs, they’re teaching night school, they’re doing tutoring, they’re with their own young families at home. We’ve had enough,” said Beers.
The bill’s sponsors say the legislation is making its way through the general assembly but educators are losing patience.
“Education is expensive, we need however to stop sacrificing our children and their futures to money. This is not where we’re supposed to save,” said 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year, Athanasia Kyriakakos.
One student many have giving the most moving commentary saying everyone deserves the chance at a good, competitive education.
“All we ask is that we grow together. That we all understand the significance of constant funding and the immense difference it can have on our schools and our personal lives,” said student, Marjory Pineda.
The bill passed its third reading in the Senate Monday evening. The hope is that it will pass before the end of the session.