The Organizing Coalition for Public Education in Maryland met at the Baltimore Teachers Union on Thursday September 13th. The meeting saw a number of invested partners from across the state come together in an effort to promote public education across the state. One of the more immediate goals of the group is to ensure Marylanders vote Yes on Question One (VoteYesOnOne.org) in the 2018 General Election. This is the ballot initiative which would secure casino gaming revenues exclusively for education.
The coalition is made up of a number of divergent interest groups. Represented among the group is the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, AFSCME, Strong Schools Maryland, ACLU Maryland, Maryland State Education Association, and AFT-Maryland, just to name a few. The initial meeting went over group value statements as well as identifying the correct language needed to get each constituent group behind voting Yes on Question One.
The coalition did more than strategize around Question One and casino revenues. There was also discussion about the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) here in Maryland. Beyond that, the group received updates on the Kirwan Commission and their ongoing work. As the Kirwan Commission has continued to work, the coalition recognized that the casino revenues will be vital to funding much of what the Kirwan Commission recommends.