Annapolis, MD—While Ben Jealous discusses his bold vision to return Maryland schools to the best in the nation with voters in Frederick and Baltimore City today, Larry Hogan will struggle to cover up his failed record on schools during his remarks at the Maryland Association of County Officials’ annual conference.
Ben Jealous has proposed bold plans to fully fund Maryland schools and raise teacher pay, Larry Hogan has no proposed plan on education for a second term despite state public schools having fallen in the rankings every year of his term. No wonder the Washington Post Editorial Board wrote that Hogan’s “challenge is to convince Marylanders that he has a vision for the state.”
“Governor Hogan needs to reveal his vision for the state,” said Senator Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s). “Will he commit to fully funding the Kirwan proposal to improve Maryland schools? The governor should not be allowed to hide. Maryland voters deserve better.”
“Maryland schools have dropped in the national rankings three years in a row under Governor Hogan and he has still failed to offer a vision that will turn our schools around and ensure our children receive the very best public school education in the nation,” said Senator Will Smith (D-Montgomery County). “Our students are falling behind because Governor Hogan has underinvested in our public school system. Ben Jealous has a bold agenda to invest in our students and our teachers to make Maryland schools the best in the nation.”
“Over the past four years, Larry Hogan has failed to improve education in Maryland and now that he is running for re-election, Hogan still has no plan for improving our schools,” said Maryland State Education Association president Cheryl Bost. “Ben Jealous has a bold plan to improve our schools, pay educators more, and make sure casino revenue helps improve public education in Maryland.”
“Larry Hogan has spent four years shortchanging our students, attacking our teachers and trying to pull funds from public schools, while sending millions to private schools,” said Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Fabion Seaton. “Marylanders have told us that education is a top priority, so we’ll be making sure voters learn the truth about Hogan’s real record. While Maryland’s teachers are standing with Ben Jealous and his bold agenda to make Maryland schools the best in the country, Larry Hogan still has no plan to improve our schools and return them to the top of the national pack.”
Hogan’s failures on education are adding up. Since Hogan entered office, Maryland public schools have dropped in national rankings three straight years according to Education Week. That includes a 16-spot drop in 8th grade reading achievement and an 11-spot drop in 8th grade math achievement on the National Assessment of Education Progress.
Voters are taking notice, with the Washington Post poll reporting that only 43 percent of all Marylanders approving of Hogan’s performance on education.
Hogan’s record on school funding
Less than a month into his term, Hogan tried to cut $144 million from Maryland’s public schools in his first budget. In 2016, he pushed to cut $30 million from new education spending that go towards after-school programs, college preparation, and teacher retention strategies. Overall, Hogan has tried to cut $206 million and successfully blocked nearly $100 million from students in public schools. In the last three years, Hogan diverted $18 million in funding from public schools to subsidize expensive private schools.
Hogan’s record on casino gaming revenue
Ben Jealous has been advocating for a lockbox since June 2017, and has been a strong advocate on the issue ever since. Hogan, meanwhile, didn’t announce a plan until February 2018—a full eight months after Ben and two months after Democrats in the legislature announced their plan to introduce a Constitutional Amendment to commit these funds to education. And worse, as Democrats in the legislature were fighting to pass the bill, Hogan tried to undermine that effort and used legislative gimmicks to offer a weakened bill that would have retained his power to steal from students to fund other parts of his budget. The truth is, Larry Hogan is the person responsible for redirecting casino gaming revenue away from public schools to the tune of $1.4 billion since he became governor, including more than $300 million at the exact same time he asked the legislature to require him to take action he already had the power to do.