State Commission Recommends Pay Hike for Maryland Teachers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State Commission Recommends Pay Hike for Maryland Teachers

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VIENNA, Md. - The state's leading education council, known as the Kirwan Commission, now has a list of recommendations to help teachers. According to the Maryland State Education Association, since 2007, Maryland added 385 teachers, but gained more than 40,000 students. Meanwhile, they say teachers make just 84 cents to the dollar compared to other similar professions.

Now, the state is hoping to step in to deal with a nationwide teacher shortage. In a 2018 preliminary report, the Kirwan Commission said Maryland falls short of about $2.9 billion in public education funding, meaning on average, each school is underfunded by about $2 million.

But Dorchester Educators Union President Katie Holbrook says she's hopeful some new recommendations from the Commission will save teachers.

"It is a struggle," Holbrook said. "We're really looking for viable solutions that are that are not just a quick fix, but a reliable solution that can be maintained over time."

Those solutions include a 10 percent pay hike and a minimum $60,000 salary for teachers by the year 2024. Republican Del. Carl Anderton of Wicomico County says finding money to support the recommendations will be challenging.

"You have to pay to get the highest quality talent," Anderton said. "I'm working with my colleagues and I think we're all on the same page there's no need to raise taxes on anybody at all in Maryland. We're going to live within our means."

Anderton adds the possibility of fulfilling all of the commission's recommendations are unlikely and may require prioritizing those recommendations.

It's compromise Holbrook she's willing to take for a better future for students and teachers in Maryland. Still, Holbrook says there is some hope making up for that $2.9 billion deficit. In the 2018 midterm elections, a constitutional amendment passed that would direct casino revenue funds straight to K-12 education.

Holbrook says the amendment can add as much as $500 million toward education in Maryland.

 

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