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AFT-Maryland Legislative Reception 2017

The AFT-Maryland brought together Maryland Legislators and the leadership of the collective unions of the state federation for a reception in Annapolis. More than 20 members of the Maryland General Assembly were in attendance and discussed important education and public employee issues facing the General Assembly this session.

Union Members Visit Delegates, Senators in Annapolis

The AFT-Maryland was in Annapolis Monday, January 30th for the 2017 Lobby Night. Members from across the entire federation addressed state elected officials on everything including budget items, education, and legislation dealing with state workers. Many of the Delegates and state Senators welcomed the AFT-Maryland and took time to discuss the issues that concerned our membership.

2017 Legislative Priorities for AFT-Maryland

AFT-Maryland represents more than 20,000 state and municipal workers, including 9,000 educational workers in and around the City of Baltimore. During this legislative session, there are issues that are of particular concern to our members.

  • Full State funding for Maryland’s public schools (BRFA)
  • Invest in the Public Employees that make Maryland work
  • School assessments and an overall cap on standardized testing
  • Opposition of public school privatization and education voucher programs (BOOST)
  • Improving indoor air quality for state workers
  • Protecting Maryland’s Best-in-Nation Charter School Law
  • Protect Our Schools Act of 2017
  • Other bills of interest to AFT-Maryland members

 

Issues 2017: Other bills of interest to AFT-Maryland members

HB 01—Paid Sick Leave: SUPPORT
Even though members of the AFT-Maryland enjoy earned sick leave thanks to collectively bargained contracts, the people we serve—from students to families that can sometimes be struggling to make ends meet—would certainly benefit.

Issues 2017: Protecting Maryland’s Best-in-Nation Charter School Law

HB878/SB704: OPPOSE

Once again, Governor Hogan has announced his preference for an expanded Charter School Program in Maryland, similar to what he had introduced two years ago. Among the possible components of this expanded plan are: a separate charter school authorizing board, removing charters from the jurisdiction and oversight of local school boards, allowing charter school administrators to establish...

 

Issues 2017: Improving indoor air quality for state workers

Many of the buildings that are owned or leased by the state are so old, the poor air quality in these buildings has been harming the health of state workers. Members of AFT-Maryland are proposing the Indoor Air Quality in State Owned and Leased Buildings Act, and have secured the sponsorship of Delegate Stephen Lafferty from Baltimore County to author this bill.

Issues 2017: Opposition of public school privatization and education voucher programs (BOOST)

The Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Fund was approved for $5 million without any public hearing. Every attempt to pass the bill through the General Assembly failed. Meanwhile, Maryland public schools need approximately an additional $3 billion in order to be properly funded, according to leading experts. Countless stories of Maryland public school teachers purchasing supplies for their classrooms with their own personal money exists due to this shortfall. Governor Hogan has proposed expanding this program without further vetting.

Issues 2017: Invest in the Public Employees that make Maryland work

Over the summer, the state’s Spending Affordability Committee recommended a 1% raise for state employees, as well as a restoration of the annual step increases for those workers. The Governor’s announced budget ignores these recommendations, and gives state workers no raise and no step increase for the year.

Issues 2017: Full State funding for Maryland’s public schools (BRFA)

When the Governor announced his initial budget, it included a $42 million reduction in state aid to Baltimore City Schools. This is the third year in a row that the children of Baltimore’s City School system have faced a reduction in state aid to their schools. In that timespan, these schools have seen class sizes swell beyond capacity and key programs cut, while teachers and staff have had to purchase vital school supplies out of their own pockets.