Busloads of Harford County teachers will head to Annapolis on March 14, joining a statewide rally against proposed funding cuts to public schools and services, according to Randy Cerveny, president of the Harford County Education Association. The Harford County contingent, which Cerveny said will number at least 300, will march in a “Rally to Keep the Promise” promoted by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The protest is expected to draw thousands to the state capitol.
Of the $100 million in proposed cuts to education statewide, Harford County Public Schools stand to lose close to $4.3 million, according to MSEA. Cerveny told The Dagger that the cuts were measured against funding levels prescribed by the original Thornton funding formula, a state education funding formula based on recommendations from the Maryland Commission on Education Finance, Equity and Excellence. Dr. Alvin Thornton, chairman of the Commission is expected to be a keynote speaker at the rally, along with Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.
Here’s the full text of the press release from the Harford County Education Association:
Thousands to Rally to Keep the Promise to Our Schools and Essential Public Services on March 14
March 12, 2011, Annapolis, MD — Thousands of Marylanders will Rally to Keep the Promise on March 14 in Annapolis, protesting the proposed cuts to education, essential public services, and the retirement security of educators, police, health care workers, librarians, and many more hard-working Marylanders. At least six busloads of educators and community members from Harford County will be making the trip to Annapolis.
The rally will reflect the massive public opposition to the proposed education cuts and the cuts-only approach that some elected officials have taken to the budget. A recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll found that 82% of registered voters in Maryland oppose the proposed $100 million cut in school funding and a majority supports a balanced budgetary approach that produces new revenue to protect the services that voters care about.
“Our priority must be protecting our schools and the public services that we depend on every day,” said Randy Cerveny Local President of the Harford County Education Association. “These proposed cuts would be devastating to our hard-working teachers and public servants—our friends and neighbors—and most tragically to our children and the quality of life in our state. On March 14, educators, parents, and thousands of Marylanders from Harford County and across the state will urge legislators to keep the promise to our children and our state by avoiding these drastic cuts,” said Cerveny.
Community and advocacy groups from across the state will participate in the rally, which will begin at the Naval Stadium and conclude at Lawyer’s Mall. “Cuts to public education will potentially increase class sizes and cause revered teachers to retire earlier, devastating the ranks of our school system.”
Additional information about the rally can be found at www.rallytokeepthepromise.com.