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March for Our Schools Rally Rocks State Capital

March for Our Schools Rally Rocks State Capital

  • In the News |
  • March 13, 2019

Thousands of teachers, parents and students convened on Maryland’s capital this week the “March for Our Schools” rally, shutting down roads to demand an increase in school funding over the next decade. If approved, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will increase education funding throughout the state by more than $1 billion over the next two fiscal years.

Ahead of the rally, PGCPS joined state lawmakers and Board of Education members for a press conference in support of the bill.

“Our school system deserves an investment that reflects the community’s commitment to improving education outcomes for all students throughout Prince George's County Public Schools,” said Interim CEO Dr. Monica Goldson. “By adding resources to improve teacher compensation, expand prekindergarten and provide critical services to the schools in most need, we will position every student for success. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future begins today.”

“To ensure all students have access to adequately funded, equitable education is the civil rights movement of today," said Board of Education President Dr. Alvin Thornton. "This is the energy that must drive legislators to fully fund our education system.”

Known as the Kirwan Commission bill, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Senate Bill 1030/House Bill 1413) builds on the work of the Thornton Commission, led by Dr. Thornton. The bill seeks to increase education funding throughout the state by more than $1 billion over the next two fiscal years, with a sizable portion allocated to PGCPS.

The school system would utilize the funds for higher teacher compensation, prekindergarten expansion and “wraparound” school services, such as additional social workers and counselors, extended learning time and vision and dental care.

The bill provisions include:

  • Supporting poverty grants to provide “wraparound” services to schools with more than 80 percent of Free and Reduced Meals-eligible students.
  • Extending the state’s supplemental prekindergarten grant for fiscal year 2021, which provides per pupil funding for full-day prekindergarten students.
  • Creating a $13.3 million grant program to increase teacher salaries and improve recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers.
  • Including $21.24 million in additional funding for students with special needs.