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Education funding needs to be a top priority in Annapolis | READER COMMENTARY

Maryland lawmakers filed a “groundbreaking” but expensive 199-page bill, The Blueprint for Maryland's Future, that would mean a sweeping overhaul of the state’s public schools ― boosting teacher pay, expanding vocational training and funding additional services for children in the poorest communities.
Maryland lawmakers filed a “groundbreaking” but expensive 199-page bill, The Blueprint for Maryland's Future, that would mean a sweeping overhaul of the state’s public schools ― boosting teacher pay, expanding vocational training and funding additional services for children in the poorest communities.(Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

As a first-grade teacher in Baltimore County, I know how important it is to pass the Blueprint for Maryland’s’ Future (“Maryland lawmakers file ‘groundbreaking,’ expensive bill for sweeping overhaul of state’s public schools,” Feb. 6). The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future creates an opportunity to increase teacher pay in order to better support educators, like myself, who dedicate our lives to children.

Many educators, like myself, love our career and the opportunities that we have each day to impact the lives of our students. However, we struggle with making ends meet for our own families in order to follow our passion and continue our career in education. We need dedicated educators in our schools, but many educators can’t afford to stay in the profession.

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The devastating reality is that 47% of new teachers leave the profession by their third year, half of educators work a second job to make ends meet, and the average teacher makes 85 cents on the dollar compared to similar fields. This does not have to continue to be a reality. Our kids can’t wait, and our educators can’t wait.

It is with great urgency that I am asking everyone to contact their legislators and urge them to pass the Blueprint during the 2020 General Assembly.

Kelly Garrison, Overlea

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

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