Maryland Democrats Take the Lead on Education Funding

Apr 06, 2018

Annapolis, MD — While Larry Hogan has literally shortchanged students in his three years in office, Maryland Democrats are putting real investment into public schools. Today the Maryland House of Delegates passed the Fix the Fund Act—a Constitutional Amendment to create a “lockbox” around casino gaming revenue to increase education funding by nearly $500 million per year.  The amendment, driven by Democratic legislators, will be on the ballot for approval from voters in November.

“I applaud our Democratic legislators who fought hard to ensure that Maryland meets it commitment to students,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. Year after year, Larry Hogan has raided the Education Trust Fund to fund other parts of his budget, but thanks to our Democratic legislators, Maryland voters will have an opportunity to put an end to that practice by voting in November to put students first and Fix the Fund.”

Larry Hogan has diverted more than $1.4 billion in casino gaming revenue from the Education Trust Fund and he has allowed Maryland’s public school rankings to slip each year he has been in office.  After Democrats announced the Amendment, Hogan pulled an election-year stunt by introducing a watered-down version of the Democratic bill, which would not have prevented Hogan from continuing his practice of raiding the gaming revenue to pay for his budget.

Governor Hogan has a history of undermining public schools. Just last month,Hogan issued a veto threat of Democrats’ legislation to increase annual spending on school construction from $250 million per year to $400 million—including an additional $10 million for school safety.

Last March, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was the very first Trump administration official hosted by Governor Larry Hogan in Maryland.  He has also sided against supporting Maryland’s neighborhood public schools while nominating hardline extremists to the state board of education.

In January, Hogan denied a request from legislators for $2.5 million in emergency funding to fix heating issues in Baltimore schools. In his first budget, Hogan wanted to cut $275 million from Maryland’s public schools. In 2016, he pushed to cut $30 million from new education spending that go towards after-school programs, college preparation, and teacher retention strategies. At the same time, Hogan tried to divert funding from public schools to unaccountable private schools.