"Under the Hogan Administration, our public schools have been underfunded by $3 billion every single year—that means the average school in our state is underfunded by $2 million. This underfunding has led to larger class sizes and cuts to student programs. The governor should stop attacking our public schools and start rolling up his sleeves with the rest of the state’s leaders to reverse this shameful underfunding and make sure the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations become law.”
“This year’s PARCC scores are a reflection of the fact that our schools are underfunded. When you have class sizes of more than 30 kids to a teacher, when you have high teacher turnover rates because we underpay educators, and when you don’t address the non-academic barriers to learning in our communities of high poverty, you see achievement gaps persist. It’s not enough to talk about test scores—kids are never going to test their way out of poverty. We need more funding in our public schools to meet the needs of every child, and until then you’re going to keep seeing the same results," said MSEA President Betty Weller.
“Today is a huge step in rolling back the disruptive and counterproductive over-testing culture in our schools. By eliminating more than 700 hours of unnecessary district-mandated testing across the state, our kids will get back days—and in some cases weeks—of instruction time to learn well-rounded skills and gain valuable problem solving ability," said MSEA President Betty Weller.
“Between the More Learning, Less Testing Act and the Protect Our Schools Act, the legislature has put Maryland schools in a position to show that our children are more than a test score. The overemphasis on testing has failed to close achievement gaps for the last two decades. It’s not enough to know that some students perform worse than others—we need to know why. Now Maryland is a national leader in refocusing time and resources on the kind of learning opportunities that truly help kids thrive in school," said MSEA President Betty Weller.
“Today was a huge day for public education in Maryland—and all supporters of our neighborhoods schools thank the General Assembly for overriding Gov. Hogan’s misguided veto. The Protect Our Schools Act will position our schools to improve learning opportunities and student outcomes for years to come, while protecting them from failed, top-down privatization ideas that put corporate interests before our students," said MSEA President Betty Weller.
“Gov. Hogan’s veto of the Protect Our Schools Act isn’t out of left field, but it’s certainly out-of-touch. It’s profoundly frustrating that the governor refuses to stand with parent, educator, and civil rights groups in support of a smarter, more transparent approach to holding schools accountable, and instead stands with Betsy DeVos in attempting to privatize our public schools. It’s also inconsistent with the bipartisan agreement that an over-reliance on standardized testing has led our schools astray from what really matters for our kids," said MSEA President Betty Weller.
This morning, the Maryland Senate passed the Protect Our Schools Act—legislation to strengthen Maryland’s school accountability system and prevent Betsy DeVos-style school privatization—by a veto-proof 32-15 margin. The House of Delegates then moved tonight to send the bill to the governor's desk with a veto-proof 87-50 vote.
“Gov. Hogan has once again shown an inability to put the interests of students ahead of Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos’ school privatization agenda,” said MSEA President Betty Weller. “Our students deserve schools that are held accountable to stronger, smarter, and more transparent standards. It’s ridiculous that Gov. Hogan is standing against what overwhelming majorities of Marylanders want simply because partisan and corporate interests told him to do so. We will now ask legislators in the General Assembly to pass the legislation and be prepared to override this misguided veto.”
“We have a once in a generation opportunity for Maryland to redefine and improve public school success, with less emphasis on testing and a greater focus on closing opportunity gaps,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association. “We applaud the House for showing leadership in this critical moment and look forward to working with the Senate as they move forward to do the same.”
"While we have concerns with many of Gov. Hogan’s appointments to the State Board of Education—of whom, only one of ten has any experience working in a Maryland public school—we do not usually object to their confirmation. But considering Mr. Cooper’s consistent disregard for state law and his complete lack of experience with Maryland public schools and education policy, Maryland’s educators have no choice but to urge Gov. Hogan to withdraw his misguided selection," said MSEA Director of Legislative Affairs Sean Johnson.