Priority Issue: Vote Yes on Question 1

Fix the Fund – Vote YES on Question 1

MABE is standing with a broad coalition of education organizations and advocates in strong support for passage of Question 1 on the ballot this November 6th.

On August 30, 2018, MABE joined in the kick off of the campaign to “Fix the Fund” by passing Question 1.

A diverse coalition of education advocates gathered at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County to kick off a campaign to urge Marylanders to vote yes on Question 1 to make sure casino revenues go to increasing public school funding.

On behalf of MABE, Julie Hummer, Anne Arundel County Board of Education President, spoke to why passing Question 1 is so important:

“Passing Question 1 will mean that all school systems, every school, and all students will start to benefit from the $500 million dollars currently going into the Education Trust Fund from Casino revenues. Once Question 1 is passed, how much will school funding increase next year? By $125 million dollars! And State funding will continue to grow over four years, for a total increase of at least $500 million dollars. 

How will this funding benefit our students?
Passing Question 1 will guarantee that gaming revenue is contributing to the State’s ability to launch and fully fund the bold recommendations being developed by the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

The Kirwan Commission is poised to recommend major changes and increases in education funding to be phased-in over several years. Next year, Maryland should start to significantly increase State funding for priority areas including:

  •      – Expanding the availability of high quality early learning opportunities for 3 and 4-year-olds;
  •      – Expanding career and technology education (CTE) programs for our high school students;
  •      – Fully funding long overdue increases in special education programs and services;
  •      – Budgeting for better-trained teachers and staff such as counselors, therapists, and social workers;
  •      – Smaller class sizes to make sure each student is making progress; and
  •      – Student access to mental health services that are so important to school safety.

MABE supports Question 1 because it will help provide the State funding that will be necessary to make real progress toward a world-class public education system for all students throughout Maryland.”

Other speakers included Cheryl Bost, Baltimore County teacher and Maryland State Education Association President; Dr. Alvin Thornton, architect of the state’s current school funding formula; Kenya Campbell, Baltimore City teacher and Baltimore Teachers Union leader; Julie Hummer, Anne Arundel County Board of Education President representing the Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Joe Francaviglia, Strong Schools Maryland Director of Partnerships; Maritza Solano, Casa de Maryland Education Director; and Rick Tyler of the Maryland Education Coalition.

Also in attendance were representatives from the Maryland PTA, the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, the League of Women Voters, the Maryland Retired School Personnel Association, ACLU of Maryland, and other organizations.

Background

Question 1 was added to the ballot following the General Assembly’s passage of the Fix the Fund Act, Senate Bill 1122, during the 2018 legislative session. Read MABE’s testimony in support of the Fix the Fund Act, Senate Bill 1122, during the 2018 legislative session.

Casino revenues have not led to major increases in school funding as many Marylanders expected. While casino revenues went into the Education Trust Fund—which can only be used for funding public education—nearly the same amount of existing funding was shifted from education to other parts of the state budget. The result has been that the new revenue from casinos didn’t add to existing funding; instead, it has largely maintained the existing levels. Voting yes on Question 1 will keep a promise made to voters that casino revenue would increase school funding.

See “Where the Money Goes” according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

What’s the Share of Gaming Revenue Going to the Education Trust Fund?

29.6%  – FY 2018

31.8% – FY 2017

35.2% – FY 2016

37.3% – FY 2015

39.4% – FY 2014

46.7% – FY 2013

48.5% – FY 2012

48.5% – FY 2011

 


For more information, contact MABE’s Director of Governmental Relations, John R. Woolums, Esq., at jwoolums@mabe.org or 410-841-5414.

All Board Service Academies and committee meetings are virtual during this time.

If you have any questions, please email jbeltz@mabe.org.