The AFT-Maryland and the Baltimore Teachers Union joined with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) and participated in a national day of action on October 6th. The Baltimore action was a walk-in for the schools and communities ALL our children deserve. Although there were walk-ins all across Baltimore City, the AFT-Maryland focused on four schools in the Cherry Hill community. Staff and volunteers greeted students and parents at Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle, Arundel Elementary/Middle, Carter G. Woodson Elementary, and New Era Academy as they arrived at school.
Parents signed up to commit to going to Annapolis to lobby the state legislature and Governor Hogan for more funding for education. Families were also given healthy snacks to get their day started, including granola bars, clementines, and apples. The union also engaged members as they started their day. Teachers, paraprofessionals and school related personnel also signed petitions and signed up to lobby the state for increased funding for community schools.
Later in the day, retirees and staff volunteers canvassed the Cherry Hill community with state Senator Bill Ferguson. They spoke with citizens in the community in an effort to register more voters and get them to come out to a community rally that would culminate the day of action. Sen. Ferguson also listened to citizens’ concerns over the proposed Port Covington developments and the impact that would have on education funding as well as what it would mean to citizens’ property values.
The day of action ended with a community rally at Arundel Elementary/Middle School. The rally had food, games, door prizes, books and voter registration. Community groups came out to support and stand with AFT-Maryland in calling for the funding for the schools and communities all our students deserve. Speakers from groups such as Elevate, Communities United and Safe Streets addressed the crowd. They discussed how they are integrated into the fabric of the school, explaining how school and community are one working toward the same goals. The day of action is an example to Gov. Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly that the Cherry Hill community and all of Baltimore city want the schools and communities all our students deserve. They can make that happen by increasing funding for education and community schools in Baltimore.