Reform Sasscer Staff:
Politics is a very dirty game. We guess the more you get involved, the more you can see through the games that are being played after years of exposure to correct the problems in Maryland.
Governor Larry Hogan has just played his cards beautifully. The only reason he is demanding transparency and accountability is to see how many Democrats will vote Yes on accountability and transparency and how many Democrats votes no, and expose their true colors.
In his State of the State Address, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan launched the 2019 legislative session and introduced his 2020 budget with his usual proclamations of “record investment in K-12 education” and “fiscal responsibility.” Campaign ads and social media posts laud Hogan for miraculously managing to fund education without raising taxes or increasing the deficit. His commitment to education, supporters say, is why he soared to victory as a Republican in a deeply blue state. But a closer look at Hogan’s budget proves he is failing to give our public schools the substantial investment they truly need.
Now, all we can say is that let them all vote “yes” to accountability because truthfully every single person should vote for what is right with proper oversight.. but who knows until it happens. Everybody we spoke to says, anything about accountability is not a favored subject by both sides. “Just look at what is happening to the Comptroller of Maryland Hon. Peter Franchot (D-MD) after he went after the corruption in Maryland legislature,” one concerned citizen who wanted to remain anonymous said.
Educating our children is an important step to making sure that our children lead productive lives. However, as there are calls for increased funding for public education, Hogan is saying not so fast and calling for more accountability before approving more funding by the Kirwan Commission.
“My concern is that the recommendations of the Commission will lead to massive increases in expenditures without any assurance that our kids will receive a better education,” Hogan wrote in a letter Thursday to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch”.
Hogan’s 2020 budget includes $6.9 billion in school funding, above what’s mandated by state aid formulas currently in use. But that increase isn’t noteworthy: State spending on education has increased every year since at least 2003. In fact, in his first term, Hogan actually increased education spending at a lower rate than his predecessors — a mere 7.8 percent, compared with 44 percent for Bob Ehrlich and 28 percent for Martin O’Malley in their first terms. Such a marginal increase in spending has done little to alleviate the opportunity gap that persists in Maryland between high- and low-income students.
That’s where the Kirwan Commission comes in. The commission was tasked with reviewing the current state of Maryland schools and coming up with specific recommendations to improve educational outcomes, especially for the state’s most vulnerable students and schools. Last year, the commission recommended an increase of $3.8 billion phased in over 10 years, with a $325 million increase for the 2020 fiscal year. That money would be used to fund pre-kindergarten, pay increases for teachers, school-based health centers and other interventions in the form of staffing and programming using money that would come out of the operating budget.
Instead of fully funding the commission’s recommendations, Hogan allocated only $200 million out of the proposed $325 million. Though he did agree to raise state employee wages by 3 percent, Hogan ignored calls from union organizers at AFSCMEto raise wages by 5 percent to keep up with inflation. Instead, he prioritized school construction funding, which is vital, but not enough.
It’s been obvious for years that Baltimore City and Kent County schools need buildings with heat and AC. It’s clear buildings across the state are dilapidated, crumbling and dangerous to students. We should not shower praise upon Hogan for providing only the most basic of needs in 2019.
Even the governor’s school construction proposals are not as wondrous as he would make them seem. Instead of fully funding public schools, he’s siphoning off specific funding for charter schools and expanding state funding for vouchers for parents to send their children to private schools, with his 2020 budget set to include nearly $4 million toward charter construction and repairs. Charter schools have an exclusionary history, and don’t serve Maryland students equitably. They divert resources away from public schools and limit the state’s ability to hold schools accountable.
Inadequate state investment in public education leads to underpaid teachers and overworked staff, not to mention first-generation students who are unable to pay the rising cost of tuition and housing. And when schools are unable to afford copy paper and pencils, administrators are forced to seek donations from private donors and entities, who seek disproportionate control over our schools without adequate accountability.
So what are your thoughts?
Half baked politically based rhetoric will not solve the problems in our Maryland schools! There definitely needs to be accountability and Governor Larry Hogan has known this since day one. He should lead the way by example and not dish tax payer funds to the private entities like charter schools and other groups who are not answerable to the taxpayers.
There is no question Maryland needs a thorough audit and investigation of how our tax dollars are spent!!! Why are Baltimore city schools and parts of Prince George’s county public Schools so deplorable? what happened to all the monies for school improvements, who got unwarranted salary increases, cut all department budgets by 20% throughout the state, how is the lottery monies spent; etc.!!! Expose it all and make it available to the public for review!!! We must Stop the wastage of tax payer dollars!!!!
Governor Larry Hogan complains now. Maybe he should have thought of that before he spent his energy and focused on taking out a Republican Senator in district 29 instead of helping elect more Republicans around the state. You’re responsible for this mess, Hogan. Why does Hogan keep on ignoring the main players in Prince George’s County involved in major violations of law starting with Monica Goldson?
The Governor should have worked and fought harder in the last election to have gained a credible veto in at least one house of the Maryland General Assembly (MGA).
Long before Governor Larry Hogan assumed office, he was aware of the public school corruption in Maryland after major exposure through the press over the years. So why did he wait for the ‘Crossover Day’ to Rip Dems’ Legislative Agenda? Why did the establishment led by Hogan use a korean judge with ties to his wife to advance public corruption in Maryland under his watch? Why did Larry Hogan promote the said korean Judge with questionable background to be a circuit court judge in Maryland? Is this presidential?
Instead of praising Hogan, let’s hold him and his administration accountable and demand that he fully fund our public schools. In addition, the establishment should stop advancing institutional racism and ignoring accountability using the Maryland Court system as a weapon to lynch people they do not like such as Josephat Mua as part of organized scheme. Our students deserve nothing less.
More to Come