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Educators and activists rally to increase funding for Harford County Public Schools

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Posted at 4:46 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 09:09:22-04

Education advocates and activists rallied in support of high quality education for the students of Harford County Public Schools.

The push for the campaign outside of the Harford County Public Schools Central office was to urge elected officials of Harford County to prioritize education and increase funding in schools.

"We're advocating to the county to increase funding. There are other counties that get a lot less funding from the state than we do. However, they all step up and provide more funding to their school systems," said Wade Sewell, a concerned parent with two children in elementary school.

Education activists say Harford County Public Schools rank last of the 24 counties in Maryland in regards to funding. They believe the lack of funding will have a long-term impact on their community.

With the current budget, more than 150 teachers and dozens of administrative positions will be cut for the 2019-2020 school year, which means more kids in classrooms.

Emma Sewell, Wade Sewell's fourth grade daughter, stood up in front of the county council and addressed her concerns. She asked, "will I be sitting at the back next year because there aren’t enough desks? Will my teacher be able to answer my questions?"

A concern for students and teachers. "I want be able to do my job that I was trained to do and I can’t do that with the class sizes were dealing," said Heather Ingram, a teacher of 22 years. She added, "I cannot get to every single kid who’s in my classroom, which means they are not getting the one-on-one attention they need."

Advocates are hoping that they're call for additional funding will restore teacher positions and increase high quality public education.

"I think it’s important that we send a message to the county council that we as a community have had enough. We’ve had enough of our schools teachers be put last and they deserve better learning environments," said Becky Maloy, a concerned parent.

The next public budget hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.

"Council has the budget in front of them, looking at every piece to see what they can do," said Council Vice President Joseph Woods. He added, "we will wait until after the public hearings to dive in."