Monday evening’s town hall event, featuring a panel of state and local officials, provided a forum for Maryland teachers to express their concerns over the potential affects of the “doomsday budget” on education funding. Marc Steiner of WEAA 88.9 hosted the event and spent the duration of the evening discussing maintenance of effort funding for schools and the shift of teacher pensions to county governments. As reported by MarylandReporter.com , members of the panel agreed that Maryland’s top ranked schools could be jeopardized if the bill was passed onto counties.
“I would argue that shifting teacher pensions to the county is tantamount to a cut in education,” said Senate Majority Leader Robert Garagiola, D-Montgomery.
Sen. Joanne Benson, D-Prince George’s, echoed Garagiola, stating that there was “no way under the sun” counties could account for the same amount of money the state provides for pensions at this time. To cheers and shouts of “amen,” Benson, who previously worked as a school principal, added that she was unsure if O’Malley and other leaders in Annapolis truly understood the message of support for education some legislators are trying to send.
The town hall event will air later this week during a special edition of “The Marc Steiner Show.”