Today, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed bipartisan legislation (SB 739) to put two current Maryland teachers on the State Board of Education, as well as a parent of a current public school student. The current members of the State Board have zero years of experience working in Maryland public schools.
MSEA President Betty Weller released the following statement:
“It’s the very definition of common sense that teachers should be at the decision-making table when developing policies that affect our students. But not only has Gov. Hogan failed to appoint a single Maryland teacher to his Board of Education, he has now actively blocked bipartisan legislation to make it happen. Gov. Hogan is sending a very clear message: He doesn’t believe teachers should have a voice in decisions about our schools, students, and profession.
“As he stands in the way of this common sense, bipartisan idea, we see once again that the governor’s rhetoric about bipartisanship does not match his record. Educators will remember that Gov. Hogan doesn’t think that we deserve a voice in what’s best for our students. But he can rest assured that he will hear our voice in November.”
Del. Eric Ebersole (D-Baltimore & Howard-District 12), House sponsor of the legislation, released the following statement:
“As a former teacher, I know firsthand how disruptive it can be to have top-down mandates implemented without the input of experienced educators. I ran for a seat in the General Assembly because I know we need the critical classroom perspective that teachers offer in making decisions that impact our schools and our students. That’s why I was so satisfied to get bipartisan support in passing this legislation.
“It should be uncontroversial, and even a priority, to add two teachers to the state school board. However, with this veto, Gov. Hogan seems to think that the voice of those who serve at the point of delivery, the classroom, is unimportant. He should trust and value these hard-working professionals who help our kids make progress every day.
“While we cannot override a veto with it being an election year, I intend to work towards adding teachers to the State Board of Education in the next legislative term.”
SB 739 passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support, including a 10-1 vote in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee with three of four Republicans voting in favor.