Harford teachers union president critical of county executive [Letter]

All citizens of Harford County should be outraged by the Craig administration's history of under funding our schools.

The flat funding which County Executive David Craig has imposed upon Harford County Public Schools has resulted in major cuts to transportation, programming and staff. Despite his claims of being a lifelong educator, despite Harford County taking in more revenue than ever, County Executive Craig has continuously shown his misplaced priorities and lack of dedication to our schools by not even providing sufficient funds to maintain the current HCPS programming. I am disappointed that throughout his term in office, the County Executive has shown so little regard for the hardworking HCPS staff, our schools and our students.

Last February, many school employees and community members stood up to fight for our schools. Speakers implored County Executive Craig to increase funding for our schools. He chose to ignore those voices. Clearly, he is out of touch with the needs of our students, teachers and HCPS as a whole. We must continue to fight for our schools. Another flat budget for HCPS in FY 2015 will result in even more dramatic cuts.

If HCPS continues to be so poorly funded, it will likely result in drastic cuts to programming, staffing, transportation and after school activities. These cuts will result in larger class sizes and fewer opportunities for students. All Harford County citizens must advocate for proper education funding. The quality of our schools is in jeopardy. The quality education which our students currently receive is at risk. The quality of life we all have fought hard to create in Harford County is in danger. Continued cuts and flat funding will result in a continued deterioration of our schools, which will transcend into decreased home values. Without increased funding for our schools, every citizen of Harford County will suffer as our schools are unable to meet the increasing demands of providing a quality, 21st century education.

On Monday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m., County Executive Craig will hold a budget hearing at Fallston High School. We need every Harford County citizen, who values the education provided by Harford County Public Schools, to advocate for our schools. We all must attend. We all must fight to protect public education for our children and to preserve the quality of our schools. By protecting our schools, we protect our investments in our homes, businesses and property. By preserving quality public schools, we preserve the quality of life that we all hold dear. Please join your teachers as we fight to preserve quality public education and a prosperous future for our children.

Ryan Burbey

President, Harford County Education Association

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