By Tracee Wilkins, News4 – Some Maryland delegates say Gov. Larry Hogan is purposely cutting millions from a program funding education in the state’s Black and brown communities.
The Maryland General Assembly passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future last year, a 10-year, multibillion-dollar plan to properly fund education in those communities. Some state delegates are accusing the governor of cutting millions from the program.
“The governor has done everything in his power to sabotage public education in the state of Maryland,” Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost said.
Maryland educators and politicians accuse Hogan of shortchanging efforts to properly fund education in communities of color.
“If he really wants to make a change to addressing the issues of crime, it starts with education,” Prince George’s County House Delegation Chairman Nick Charles said.
Maryland’s gambling revenue is going to fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future that will cost the state $3.8 billion a year for the next 10 years. Baltimore and Prince George’s County were promised additional lump sums this year due to their historic underfunding, but the governor did not include that $140 million in his budget as expected.
“We got a billion dollars in our budget surplus right now,” Charles said. “Fund the schools. Fund our schools, especially Prince George’s County and Baltimore city where we have the largest African American population of students. Fund us.”
The governor objected to the Blueprint, saying it would lead to tax hikes in the future. He’s proposing tax cuts with the state’s record surplus.
“The Blueprint for Maryland, you know, we’re already investing all the money in there. We’ve got all the casino revenue going into that, and I haven’t heard any proposal on this one,” Hogan said when asked about fully funding Blueprint in January.
“Is the blueprint fully funded? What happened is the governor said something that isn’t true,” said Christopher Meyer of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy.
Education advocates who thought the war was over are again fighting to repair old buildings, increase teacher pay and fund programs.
“Students, families and educators are sick of constantly being rallied to advocate for their constitutional rights year after year,” Strong Schools Maryland Executive Director Shamoyia Gardiner said.
Advocates say they believe Hogan may be breaking the law by not funding that additional money to Prince George’s and Baltimore. They say they’ve asked the attorney general to review the law.