President English testifies against cuts in state aid

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Annapolis, Feb. 23, 2017:  AFT-Maryland and Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) President Marietta English addressed the Maryland House of Delegates Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Economic Development to address MSDE aid to education. President English had the support of staff and members of the BTU and AFT-Maryland in attendance with her. She addressed the body and spoke of the financial shortcomings of Baltimore City Public Schools. Rather than focus on the pending $130 million deficit, she reminded legislators that Governor Hogan's current budget calls for a $42 million reduction in state aid to Baltimore City.

Her impassioned pleas took offense to criticism that Baltimore City education advocates receive when they advocate for more funding. She went on to cite a Department of Legislative Services study that says the General Assembly underfunds education across the state by about $1.6 billion dollars. She pointed out that “paper wealth” of the city and the state did not account for the unique challenges in educating the diverse population of students Baltimore City Schools educates. She noted the poverty and significant number of students with special needs that are unique to Baltimore’s student population. President English represented both BTU and AFT-Maryland well as she spoke truth to power before Maryland legislators.