In January, newly elected governor Larry Hogan’s office released a statement that the new education budget “makes a record investment in K-12 education and includes $290 million for school construction.”
However, the new budget is smaller than most people anticipated, cutting roughly $143 million from the expected education budget.
Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Baltimore City schools will be affected the most by the new budget, as education costs are especially high in those regions. Any additional funding they were going to receive has now been cut in half.
“Gov. Hogan’s education cuts threaten the progress of our top-notch public schools, which are at the heart of what makes Maryland attractive to businesses and families,” said Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association. “Gov. Hogan’s budget will lead to overcrowded classrooms, inadequate technology, and cuts to instructional materials, programs, and positions… These cuts will mean fewer teachers and fewer support staff in our schools.”
Despite this, Weller says that she, along with the rest of the MSEA, feels confident that they can work with Governor Hogan and the General Assembly to protect the education budget.
While some are worried about the impact Governor Hogan’s budget will have on the Maryland school system, others are pleased that the new governor is taking steps to stabilize the state’s deficit. “If he wasn’t going to be cutting spending, what was he going to do, since he is not going to raise new taxes? He has to find money from somewhere,” said Warren Deschenaux, Director of Policy Analysis for the Maryland Department of Legislative Services.
In a past interview with “The Capital Gazette”, Delegate Herb McMillan stated, “If we need to spend more than we bring in, then we need to raise taxes.” In order to bring a change to state spending without increasing taxes, Hogan rolled out a new education budget.
Despite mixed reactions from lawmakers and educators on the proposed budget, Governor Hogan plans to work together with his opponents as well as his proponents and welcomes input from legislators on how to solve budgetary challenges in order to guarantee that Maryland’s education system remains one of the best in the county.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Wafa Jawad of Clarksburg High School