Democratic candidates for Maryland governor support increased funding for schools

Eight candidates for next year’s governor’s race in Maryland spoke to teachers at the Maryland State Education Association’s convention last weekend. The eight candidates will compete in the Democratic primary, which will be held June 26, 2018. Republican Governor Larry Hogan did not attend the convention.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Jim Shea, former chair of the Venable law firm in Baltimore, promised to provide more resources to high-poverty areas and greater future funding across the board.  “He promised universal pre-kindergarten and better prenatal care for pregnant mothers, paying teachers more and improving their pensions, and letting educators have greater control over curriculum.”

“We will argue about whether we can afford it, and I will say, ‘How can we not?’ ” Shea said.

He later added that he doubted Maryland would have to increase taxes to fund his plan. “It is about how you spend your money. Not if you have it.”

Universal pre-kindergarten was also supported by Alec Ross, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and Krish Vignarajah.

State Senator Richard S. Madaleno elicited gasps and applause from the audience “when he said politicians don’t talk enough about how teachers spend too much time in a classroom and not enough time preparing to be there,” the Sun reported.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker noted that he had proposed an increase in the property tax to send more money to schools and a four percent tax increase was eventually approved.

The Sun also reported on the comments by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamentz, Ben Jealous, former CEO of the NAACP, and technology entrepreneur Alec Ross.

Note: Jim Shea is my brother-in-law.

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